Kate M. Harper

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Catherine M. Harper
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 61st district
Assumed office
January 2, 2001[1]
Preceded by Joseph M. Gladeck, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1956-04-05) April 5, 1956 (age 60)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Paul J. Kelly III
Children Paul Kelly IV, Thomas Kelly
Residence Lower Gwynedd Township, Pennsylvania
Alma mater La Salle University
Villanova University
Religion Roman Catholic

Catherine M. "Kate" Harper (born April 5, 1956) is a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She has represented the 61st Legislative District in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania since 2000 and is a member of the Republican Party.


Harper was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2000 and has been re-elected four times. Prior to her election to the House, Harper was a member of the Lower Gwynedd Township Board of Supervisors.

Representative Harper is chairman of the House Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation. She is Vice Chairman of the House Ethics Committee and also serves on the House Environmental Resources and Energy, Judiciary, Transportation, and Urban Affairs Committees.[2] Kate is also involved among her state and community. It includes service on the Pennsylvania and Delaware Regional Water Committees; the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board Rules Committee; and the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network’s Board of Directors, a program which provides free legal services to low-income Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth.[3] Harper has a general practice, but focuses on land use, real estate and civil litigation in Bucks and Montgomery Counties.[4]


Harper is a graduate of Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School, La Salle University, and Villanova University Law School. In addition to her legislative work, Harper is an attorney at law firm, Timoney Knox.

Representative Harper and her husband reside in Lower Gwynedd Township and have two sons. She is of Irish descent.

In 2002, the political website PoliticsPA named her to the list of "Smartest Legislators," describing her as a "policy wonk of policy wonks."[5] Kate is also one of the few Montgomery County lawyers to have argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Kate and her husband, Paul J. Kelly, CPA, still reside in Lower Gwynedd Township and have two sons, Paul and Tom.[6]

Political career[edit]

Kate brought in 13,727 votes or 60.69 percent of the vote to Leonard’s 8,875 or 39.24 percent, with 100 percent of the vote reported, according to unofficial results posted on the Montgomery County website.[7] Kate has been prominent in leadership for the environment. She played a key role in the writing of impact fee legislation (Act 13 of 2012) to direct a portion of funding generated from natural gas drilling in the Commonwealth to statewide environmental programs. She has also been a major supporter of preserving and enhancing the state’s Growing Greener program. Harper proves this by how she extended the fee on trash sent to landfills (Act 90 of 2002) to support environmental initiatives and then by serving as the prime architect of the Growing Greener II initiative (Act 1 of 2005). After overwhelming approval by Pennsylvania’s voters in a referendum this act made $625 million in funding available for farmland preservation, open space and parks, and environmental projects.[8]


Kate has received numerous awards due to her dedicated public service and being an advocate for the environment. These awards recognize her achievements:[9]

2016 Montgomery Bar Association's Women in the Law 2016 Margaret Richardson Award
2014 Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association Conservation Champion of the Year
2014 Montgomery County Community College President’s Award
2014 North Penn Volunteer Fire Company Community Service Award
2013 Governmental Award from the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society
2011 Legislator Recognition Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts
2011 President’s Award from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice
2011 Conservation Leadership Award from the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
2010 Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Support from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program
2009 Certificate of Appreciation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade Task Force Diablo
2008 Governmental Award from the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society
2008 Certificate of Appreciation from the Route 202/Section 700 Community Task Force
2006 Citizen of the Year Award from Lower Gwynedd Township
2006 Legislator of the Year from the Pennsylvania and Delaware Valley Chapter of Community Associations Institute (CAI)
2005 Distinguished Service Award from the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association
2005 recognition for leadership on the Growing Greener Program from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council
2004 Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy’s Land Use Award
2004 Legislative Leadership Award from the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association
2004 Recognition by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts
2004 Distinguished Service Award from the North Penn Chamber of Commerce
2004 President’s Award from the Partnership Transportation Management Association of Montgomery County
2003 Conservation award from the Heritage Conservancy
2003 Recognition by Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
2002 Certificate of Appreciation from the Montgomery/Bucks Motor Carrier Enforcement Team
2002 Government Service Award from the Northern Montgomery County Recycling Commission
2001 Governor’s Individual Award for Excellence in Local Government
2000 Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Athena Award


  1. ^ "SESSION OF 2001 - 185TH OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - No. 1" (PDF). Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 2001-01-02. 
  2. ^ PA House Profile
  3. ^ "PA State Rep. Kate Harper". www.kateharper.net. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  4. ^ "Timoney Knox, LLP | Ft. Washington, PA Law Firm". www.timoneyknox.com. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  5. ^ "Smartest Legislators". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2002. Archived from the original on 2002-01-15. 
  6. ^ "PA State Rep. Kate Harper". www.kateharper.net. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  7. ^ Finarellilfinarelli@montgomerynews.com@lkfinarelli, Linda. "ELECTION 2014: Harper maintains 61st District Seat". Montgomery News. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  8. ^ "PA State Rep. Kate Harper". www.kateharper.net. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  9. ^ "PA State Rep. Kate Harper". www.kateharper.net. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 

External links[edit]