John Kowalko

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
John Kowalko
Member of the Delaware House of Representatives
from the 25th district
Assumed office
November 8, 2006
Preceded byStephanie Ulbrich
Personal details
Born (1945-09-17) September 17, 1945 (age 74)
Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceNewark, Delaware
Alma materSt. Joseph's Prep
Temple University
ProfessionMachinist
WebsiteOfficial website

John A. Kowalko, Jr.[1] (born September 17, 1945) is an American politician and a Democratic member of the Delaware House of Representatives since November 8, 2006.[2] He represents District 25, which covers parts of Newark, Delaware.[3] He was described as one of the first progressive members of the state legislature, which had grown to around 12 progressives by 2018.[4]

Early life[edit]

Kowalko was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Adele and John Kowalko, Sr., a 24-year career Marine.[5] He graduated from St. Joseph's Prep in 1963 and apprenticed at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. He was a machinist for over 30 years, including General Foreman (LL648 IAM) at the Delaware City Refinery.[6] Kowalko also worked as a community advocate on a range of issues, including heating assistance for low-income families.[7][3]

Political career[edit]

In 2006, Kowalko was elected as State Representative for the 25th District. He beat incumbent Republican Stephanie Ulbrich, who had been in office since 1994.[3] In his first few years in office, he was instrumental in the push for the Delaware Offshore Wind Farm.[8][9]

In 2009, he was named one of Delaware Today's "People of Influence" for his work on environmental issues.[10] He is known for being an advocate of open government and has also sponsored legislation focused on consumers, public education, public utilities, health care, and state worker pensions.[7] He regularly testifies at Public Service Commission hearings on behalf of utility consumers.[7]

By 2015, Kowalko was known for his passionate and outspoken stances and was described as a "maverick" for being willing to publicly disagree with his own party, particularly Governor Jack Markell and other Democratic party leadership.[7] After an attempt to remove Democratic House Speaker Peter Schwartzkopf from his leadership position, Kowalko was taken off several committees by the Speaker for being an "activist," while Kowalko called Schwartzkopf's actions an "abuse of power."[11] Kowalko's participation in local community meetings and strong constituent support in his district has been cited as allowing him to take on his own party leadership.[7]

Kowalko and State Senator Dave Lawson sponsored a bi-partisan bill to allow parents and their children to "opt out" of statewide standardized testing, which was supported by the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA) and the Delaware Parent Teacher Association (PTA).[12][13] After two contentious committee hearings,[14][15] the bill passed both houses nearly unanimously but was vetoed by Governor Markell.[16] Kowalko and Lawson criticized the action and attempted the first veto override since 1977, but it ultimately failed in the House after being blocked from debate.[17][18][19]

In 2018, Kowalko described the actions of Democratic Governor John Carney as "Trumpian" after Carney used an Executive Order to enact budget restructuring that failed to pass the General Assembly and was opposed by Kowalko.[20][21][22]

Electoral history[edit]

  • In 2004, Kowalko lost his first election to incumbent Republican Representative Stephanie Ulbrich in the general election.[23]
  • In 2006, Kowalko won a rematch with Ulbrich in the general election with 2,473 votes (52.0%).[24]
  • In 2008, Kowalko won the general election with 5,008 votes (73.4%) against Republican nominee James Gates.[25]
  • In 2010, Kowalko won the general election with 3,402 votes (65.5%) against Republican nominee Gordon Winegar.[26]
  • In 2012, Kowalko was unopposed in the general election and won 5,674 votes.[27]
  • In 2014, Kowalko was unopposed in the general election and won 3,098 votes.[28]
  • In 2016, Kowalko won the general election with 5,123 votes (68.6%) against Republican nominee Michael Nagorski.[29]
  • In 2018, Kowalko won the general election with 4,027 votes (64.8%) against his Republican challenger.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Representative John A. Kowalko, Jr". Dover, Delaware: Delaware General Assembly. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  2. ^ "Representative John Kowalko, Jr.'s Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Kosinski, Brett (November 6, 2018). "State Rep. Kowalko wins seventh term in District 25". Newark Post.
  4. ^ Gross, Scott (September 7, 2018). "Progressive efforts stall in Delaware primary, but movement is here to stay". The News Journal.
  5. ^ "About John". Official website. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  6. ^ "John Kowalko, State Representative, 25th District". Delaware Democratic Party. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e Montgomery, Jeff (January 24, 2015). "'Rebel' John Kowalko refuses to keep quiet". The News Journal.
  8. ^ Morrison, James (March 24, 2017). "State lawmaker continues push for offshore wind in Delaware". Delaware Public Media.
  9. ^ "Delaware offshore wind farm proposal abandoned". WHYY. December 28, 2011.
  10. ^ Amis, Matt (August 13, 2009). "People of Influence: John Kowalko (Environment)". Delaware Today (September 2009 ed.).
  11. ^ Cherry, Amy (January 5, 2015). "Kowalko calls his removal from education committee 'abuse of power'". Dover, Delaware: WDEL 1550AM. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  12. ^ Dawson, James (March 3, 2015). "'Opt-out' efforts may come to a head in March". Delaware Public Media.
  13. ^ Steele, Melissa (April 28, 2015). "Parents, legislators concerned with test fatigue". Cape Gazette.
  14. ^ Bittle, Matt (April 22, 2015). "Education committee releases opt-out bill for debate". Delaware State News.
  15. ^ Albright, Matthew (June 10, 2015). "Delaware's testing opt-out bill ignites firestorm". The News Journal.
  16. ^ Ropeik, Annie (January 6, 2016). "Smarter Balanced opt-out supporters aim to push bill past governor's veto". Delaware Public Media.
  17. ^ Read, Zoë; Wolfman-Arent, Avi (January 14, 2016). "Rare Delaware veto attempt fails". WHYY.
  18. ^ Kowalko, John; Lawson, Dave (July 27, 2015). "Markell veto: Opt-out or cop-out?". Delaware Voice. The News Journal.
  19. ^ Albright, Matthew (July 14, 2016). "Veto override on testing opt-out fails in House". The News Journal.
  20. ^ Barrish, Cris (July 1, 2018). "Delaware legislative session ends after all-night fight over minimum wage increase". WHYY.
  21. ^ Fowser, Mark (June 30, 2018). "Gov. Carney signs 'budget smoothing' executive order; critics weigh in". WDEL 1550AM.
  22. ^ Kowalko, John (June 19, 2018). "Don't buy the corporate spin. 'Budget smoothing' means budget cuts". Opinion. The News Journal.
  23. ^ "State of Delaware General Election Official Results". Dover, Delaware: Delaware Commissioner of Elections. November 2, 2004. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  24. ^ "State of Delaware General Election Official Results". Dover, Delaware: Delaware Commissioner of Elections. November 7, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  25. ^ "State of Delaware General Election Official Results". Dover, Delaware: Delaware Commissioner of Elections. November 4, 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  26. ^ "State of Delaware General Election Official Results". Dover, Delaware: Delaware Commissioner of Elections. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  27. ^ "State of Delaware General Election Official Results". Dover, Delaware: Delaware Commissioner of Elections. November 6, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  28. ^ "State of Delaware General Election Official Results". Dover, Delaware: Delaware Commissioner of Elections. November 7, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  29. ^ "State of Delaware General Election Official Results". Dover, Delaware: Delaware Commissioner of Elections. November 8, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  30. ^ "State of Delaware General Election Official Results". Dover, Delaware: Delaware Commissioner of Elections. November 6, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.

External links[edit]