Judy Schwank

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Judy Schwank
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 11th district
Assumed office
April 5, 2011[1]
Preceded by Mike O'Pake
Member of the Berks County
Board of Commissioners
In office
January 3, 2000 – January 7, 2008
Preceded by Anthony Carabello[2]
Succeeded by Kevin Barnhardt
Personal details
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jim
Children Three
Residence Fleetwood
Alma mater Pennsylvania State University
Harvard University

Judith Schwank (born 1951) is an American politician. A Democrat, she was elected to the Pennsylvania Senate from the 11th district in a special election on March 15, 2011 to succeed the late Mike O'Pake.[3] The district includes the city of Reading and most of eastern Berks County.


Schwank attended the Pennsylvania State University, where she earned a B.S. and M.Ed. in agricultural education.[4] She continued her studies at Harvard University, where she completed the Executive Leadership Program through the Institute for Conservation Leadership and the Institute for the Management of Life-Long Education.[5]

Schwank then worked as a Berks County horticultural agent with the Penn State Cooperative Extension for 19 years, during which time she established the Master Gardener Program.[5] In 1991, she became the first female director of the Berks County Cooperative Extension Program, a position she held until 1999.[6]

From 2000 to 2007, Schwank served two terms as an elected Berks County Commissioner.[4] She also served as the Commission chair from 2004 to 2007.[7] ""I always thought Berks County was property-tax central," said state Sen. Judy Schwank, a Democrat whose district is in Berks County." [8] In 2004, she was appointed by Governor Ed Rendell as chair of the Pennsylvania State Planning Board.[7] She later served as President and CEO of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a statewide non-profit organization that promotes responsible land use and development.[5] In January 2010, she was appointed Dean of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Delaware Valley College.[7]

Pennsylvania Senate[edit]

2011 special election[edit]

On December 27, 2010, longtime Democratic State Senator Mike O'Pake died from complications following heart surgery.[6] A special election was announced to fill the remaining two years in O'Pake's four-year term. On January 22, 2011, Schwank was nominated by the Berks County Democratic Committee and subsequently approved by the state committee.[9]

Her Republican opponent was Larry Medaglia, the Berks County register of wills. On March 15, Schwank soundly defeated Medaglia by a margin of 58%-42%.[10] She received 20,124 votes to Medaglia's 14,794.[10]


  1. ^ "Schwank Sworn in to State Senate". The Reading Eagle. 2011-04-05. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  2. ^ Young, Mary E. (November 3, 1999). "Carabello loses out by 276 votes". The Reading Eagle. Retrieved November 27, 2011. 
  3. ^ Young, Mary E. (2011-03-15). "Schwank wins 11th District state Senate seat". Reading Eagle. 
  4. ^ a b "Ag Ed Alumna Takes Delaware Valley Post". Penn State Ag Science Magazine. 
  5. ^ a b c "About Judy Schwank". Judy Schwank for State Senate. Archived from the original on 2011-02-28. 
  6. ^ a b Phyrillas, Tony (2011-03-15). "Schwank captures O'Pake's Senate seat". The Mercury. Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. 
  7. ^ a b c "DelVal appoints new dean for agriculture". Delaware Valley College. 2010-01-28. 
  8. ^ Reinbrecht, Steve. "Why don't law makers fix property taxes?". bctv.org. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  9. ^ Young, Mary E. (2011-01-23). "It's Schwank vs. Medaglia for state Senate seat". Reading Eagle. 
  10. ^ a b "2011 Special Election for the 11th Senatorial District". Pennsylvania Department of State. 

External links[edit]