Mark Singel

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Mark Singel
Mark Singel.jpg
Chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party
In office
June 3, 1995 – December 31, 1997
Preceded byLinda Rhodes
Succeeded byTina Tartaglione
27th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
January 20, 1987 – January 17, 1995
Acting Governor: June 14,1993 - December 13, 1993
GovernorBob Casey
Preceded byWilliam Scranton
Succeeded byMark Schweiker
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 35th district
In office
January 6, 1981 – January 20, 1987[1]
Preceded byLou Coppersmith
Succeeded byWilliam Stewart
Personal details
BornMark Stephen Singel
(1953-09-12) September 12, 1953 (age 65)
Johnstown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materPennsylvania State University, University Park

Mark Stephen Singel (born September 12, 1953) is an American politician who served as the 27th lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1995, alongside Governor Bob Casey. Singel served as the state's acting governor from June 14, 1993 to December 13, 1993, during Casey's lengthy battle with amyloidosis and subsequent multiple organ transplant.

Early political career[edit]

Singel was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Penn State University, Singel was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1980. After winning reelection in 1984, he sought and won the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor in 1986. As Casey's running mate, the Democratic ticket won a narrow victory over the Republican ticket of incumbent Lieutenant Governor William Scranton III and State Senator Mike Fisher. Casey and Singel won re-election in 1990.

During his second term, Governor Casey was diagnosed with Appalachian familial amyloidosis, a rare and usually fatal liver disorder. Casey required a risky experimental multiple organ transplant. During his lengthy recovery, Singel served as Pennsylvania's acting governor.

Singel sought and lost the Democratic senatorial nomination in 1992 to Lynn Yeakel, who went on to narrowly lose the general election to incumbent Arlen Specter.

1994 gubernatorial campaign[edit]

Singel won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1994 and faced Republican U.S. Congressman Tom Ridge in the general election. Singel lost the general election to Ridge.

Some people in the party blamed Casey for Singel's loss, noting that Casey, who was pro-life, gave only lackluster support to the pro-choice Singel. Casey declined to either campaign or raise money for Singel's candidacy – an incident that reportedly caused a deep rift between the two men.

Singel's loss was also attributed to the influence of the Reginald McFadden case. McFadden had been sentenced to life in prison in 1970 for a robbery/homicide. In 1992, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons voted to release him. At the time, Singel, as Lt. Governor, served on the board and had voted in favor of McFadden's release. The vote of the entire board was 4 - 1 in favor of release. In 1994 (during the gubernatorial race), McFadden was released from prison (after Gov. Casey signed the commutation papers) and subsequently murdered two people and kidnapped and raped a third within 90 days of being released. When news of the murders broke, Singel's opponent, Tom Ridge, turned Singel's vote to release McFadden into a campaign issue. This issue, which was compared to the case of Willie Horton, was cited as another reason why Singel lost the campaign.[2] The story of Reginald McFadden's crime spree was later the focus of an episode of This American Life.[3]

Later career[edit]

After Singel's unsuccessful gubernatorial bid, he remained active in Democratic politics. He served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party from June 3, 1995[4] to December 31, 1997[5] and was a Presidential Elector in 1996. He briefly considered running against Senator Rick Santorum in 2000, but withdrew his name from consideration and backed eventual nominee, Pittsburgh-area Congressman Ron Klink.

In 2000, Singel joined the Philadelphia-based law firm Duane Morris as lobbyist and director of its Johnstown, Pennsylvania, branch office. Singel started his own firm, The Winter Group, in 2005 and continues to practice government affairs today in downtown Harrisburg.

The Pennsylvania Report named him to the 2003 "The Pennsylvania Report Power 75" list of influential figures in Pennsylvania politics, describing him as a Harrisburg lobbyist and "Rendell Confidante" and noting that he had been a prominent surrogate for Rendell during the 2002 gubernatorial election and "had a big hand in filling positions with the new [Rendell] administration."[6] He also occasionally teaches classes at the local Penn State Harrisburg campus. He was named to the PoliticsPA list of "Sy Snyder's Power 50" list of influential individuals in Pennsylvania politics in 2003.[7]

On February 19, 2010, Singel announced his intention to run in the special election to fill the seat of the late Democrat John Murtha, provided Murtha's widow decided not to run. He ended his bid for Congress ten days later, citing the need for the party to unite behind one candidate.[8]


  1. ^ Cox, Harold (2004). "Pennsylvania Senate - 1987-1988" (PDF). Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.
  2. ^ To More Inmates, Life Term Means Dying Behind Bars by Adam Liptak, New York Times, October 2, 2005. (retrieved on December 10, 2008.)
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Singel says goal is to rebuild party". The Reading Eagle. June 5, 1995. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
  5. ^ Jackson, Peter (January 2, 1998). "Singel resigns as state Dem leader". The Observer-Reporter. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
  6. ^ "The PA Report "Power 75" List" (PDF). Pennsylvania Report. Capital Growth, Inc. January 31, 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 20, 2006.
  7. ^ "Power 50". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2003. Archived from the original on 2004-04-17.
  8. ^ Kraushaar, Josh (February 25, 2010). "Mark Singel drops out of race to replace Murtha". Politico. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
Lou Coppersmith
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 35th district

Succeeded by
William Stewart
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim Lloyd
Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
1986, 1990
Succeeded by
Tom Foley
Preceded by
Bob Casey
Democratic nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Ivan Itkin
Preceded by
Linda Rhodes
Chairperson of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Tina Tartaglione
Political offices
Preceded by
William Scranton
Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
Acting Governor
Succeeded by
Mark Schweiker