Robert Jubelirer

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Robert C. Jubelirer
29th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
October 5, 2001 – January 21, 2003
GovernorMark Schweiker
Preceded byMark Schweiker
Succeeded byCatherine Baker Knoll
President pro tempore
of the Pennsylvania Senate
In office
January 1, 1985 – November 18, 1992[1]
Preceded byHenry Hager
Succeeded byBob Mellow
In office
March 15, 1994 – November 30, 2006
Preceded byBob Mellow
Succeeded byJoe Scarnati
Republican Leader
of the Pennsylvania Senate
In office
January 6, 1981 – November 30, 1984
Preceded byHenry Hager
Succeeded byJohn Stauffer
In office
November 18, 1992 – March 15, 1994
Preceded byJoseph Loeper
Succeeded byJoseph Loeper
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 30th District
In office
January 7, 1975 – November 30, 2006
Preceded byStanley Stroup
Succeeded byJohn Eichelberger
Personal details
Born (1937-02-09) February 9, 1937 (age 83)
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Renee Cohn Jubelirer
Children3 (one deceased)
ResidenceAltoona, Pennsylvania
Alma materPennsylvania State University (B.A.)
Dickinson School of Law (LL.D.)
OccupationAttorney, lobbyist

Robert C. Jubelirer (born February 9, 1937, Altoona, Pennsylvania) is a Republican Pennsylvania political leader. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1975 to 2006. He served as President pro tempore of the Pennsylvania State Senate for all but two years from 1984 to 2006, and served as the 29th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania between 2001 and 2003.

Jubelirer was defeated for re-election in the 2006 Republican party primary election and left office on November 30, 2006.

Early life[edit]

The son of a prominent county judge, Jubelirer attended Pennsylvania State University and the Dickinson School of Law. He was admitted to the bar in Blair County, Pennsylvania and practiced law for several years before entering politics.

He was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1974 to represent the Altoona area. He was elected Majority Leader in 1981. Jubelirer served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate from 1985 to 1992. After serving briefly as Minority Leader from 1992 to 1994, he again became President Pro Tempore.

In a 2002 PoliticsPA Feature story designating politicians with yearbook superlatives, he was named the "Hardest Working."[2]

Lieutenant governor[edit]

When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge resigned on October 5, 2001 to become President Bush's Homeland Security Advisor, Lt. Governor Mark Schweiker ascended to the governorship.

By provision of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1968, Jubelirer as President Pro Tempore was automatically elevated to Lt. Governor and sworn in the same day. Jubelirer's elevation to the office was not without controversy, as he retained his position in the Pennsylvania State Senate. Critics and political foes argued that this violated the separation of powers principle and threatened the checks and balances guaranteed in the state constitution.[3]

A lawsuit was filed by State Rep. John Lawless, Joseph Wiedemer and Leechburg Area School Board member Charles A. Pascal, Jr. to block Jubelirer's simultaneous service in the Senate and the executive branch, but the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court rejected the argument and issued a per curiam decision [4] allowing Jubelirer to hold both offices simultaneously. Jubelirer continued in both offices until January 21, 2003 when Schweiker's term expired. He declined to accept the Lt. Governor's salary during his term.[citation needed]

As Lt. Governor, Jubelirer served as President of the Senate, Chairman of the Board of Pardons, and Chairman of the Emergency Management Agency. In addition, he served as acting governor when Schweiker left the state. After his term as Lt. Governor expired, Jubelirer cosponsored a bipartisan bill in the state senate that would amend the state constitution and allow the Governor to choose a candidate to fill a mid-term vacancy in the Lt. Governor's office upon approval of the senate. The bill was not passed.[citation needed]

2006 primary election defeat[edit]

In May 2006, Jubelirer was defeated in the Republican primary by Blair County Commissioner John Eichelberger. He, along with Chip Brightbill, the Senate majority leader, were the first top-ranking Pennsylvania legislative leaders to lose a primary election since 1964.[5] The defeat was attributed primarily to his role in drafting a legislative pay raise bill in July 2005.[6]

Jubelirer initially defended the raise. However, after internal polling showed his support falling, he opened discussion of a repeal of the unvouchered expense provision. However, newspapers reported that he [7] tried to block efforts to repeal the entire raise. In the wake of the controversy, the Senator issued a statement in which he called the pay raise a "mistake" ... I apologized for it in my district. I now think it was the wrong thing to do. Hindsight is 20-20. I'm not shifting the blame to anybody. I accept the responsibility." He pledged to return the money he had received from the unvouchered expense account.[8]

During the campaign, Jubelirer's more conservative challengers attacked him on abortion. Despite statements during the 2006 campaign that he was pro-life, Jubelirer's opposition to the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act and [9] a "pro-choice" rating by both the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood were used by opponents to counter his arguments. He told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he was "a pro-choice Republican" and that he did not support the Republican platform on abortion.[10] Jubelirer's initial annual pension was $90,934.[11]

Pennsylvania Senate, District 30: May 2006 Primary Election[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John Eichelberger 15,445 43.9
Republican Robert Jubelirer 12,662 36.0
Republican Arnold McClure 7,097 20.2

2013 Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees election[edit]

Jubelirer attempted a comeback of sorts, seeking a seat on the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees. Despite an endorsement from former Gov. Tom Ridge, Jubelirer finished a distant sixth place, failing to earn one of the three seats.[13][14] He was elected to The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees in 2014.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Senate Floor Leaders since 1950". The Pennsylvania Manual. 118. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Department of General Services. 2007. pp. 3–265. Archived from the original on 2011-10-01.
  2. ^ "Keystone State Yearbook Committee". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2001. Archived from the original on 2002-08-03.
  3. ^ "State senator to handle two roles, Republican officials say the new lieutenant governor will be able to keep his seat. The decision has critics". The Philadelphia Inquirer. September 29, 2001. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  4. ^ Lawless v. Jubelirer, 811 A.2d 974 (Pa. 2002)
  5. ^ Baer, John (May 17, 2006). "Astonishing defeats for Jubelirer, Brightbill". Philadelphia Daily News.
  6. ^ Blazina, Ed (May 17, 2006). "Pay raise backlash ousts top legislators". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ Barnes, Tom (November 11, 2005). "Top Senate Republican backtracks on legislative pay hike". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-02-18. Retrieved 2006-04-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Hostein, Lisa GOP Jews aim to show they're not an oxymoron,, August 4, 2000.
  11. ^ Mauriello, Tracie (March 23, 2007). "Jubelirer gets $90,934 pension". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  12. ^ [2] Archived 2008-06-26 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Penn State Board of Trustees election results announced | Penn State University". 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  14. ^ "News, Sports, Jobs". Altoona Mirror. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  15. ^ "Penn State University - Board of Trustees". Retrieved 2017-06-30.

Works related to Lawless v. Jubelirer at Wikisource

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Schweiker
Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Catherine Baker Knoll
Preceded by
Henry Hager
President pro tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate
Succeeded by
Bob Mellow
Preceded by
Bob Mellow
President pro tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate
Succeeded by
Joe Scarnati
Party political offices
Preceded by
Henry Hager
Republican Leader of the Pennsylvania Senate
Succeeded by
John Stauffer
Preceded by
Joseph Loeper
Republican Leader of the Pennsylvania Senate
Succeeded by
Joseph Loeper
Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
Stanley Stroup
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 30th District
Succeeded by
John Eichelberger