|Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 128th district
January 5, 1993 – November 30, 2010
|Preceded by||James Gallen|
|Succeeded by||Mark Gillen|
|Born||Samuel E. Rohrer
August 11, 1955
|Spouse(s)||Ruth Ann Rohrer|
|Residence||Robeson Township, Pennsylvania|
|Alma mater||Bob Jones University|
Samuel E. "Sam" Rohrer (born August 11, 1955) is an American businessman and politician. A member of the Republican Party, he served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from the 128th District.
Before entering politics, Rohrer managed a radio station and worked in marketing for Graco. In 2010, he ran for Governor of Pennsylvania, losing in the primary election to Tom Corbett. Rohrer ran for the United States Senate in 2012 to challenge incumbent Democratic incumbent Bob Casey, Jr., but was defeated in the primary by Tom Smith. He is currently president of the Pennsylvania Pastors' Network, a branch of Let Freedom Ring, Inc.
Early life, education, and radio career
Rohrer was born in Dover, Ohio, and is an alumnus of Tuscarawas Valley High School. After earning a degree in Business Administration from Bob Jones University in 1977, he managed a radio station for several years before becoming director of marketing for Graco, based in Elverson, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Rohrer was elected to the State House in November 1992, succeeding retiring Republican Jim Gallen. He typically won re-election with over 60% of the vote. However, he faced difficult contests in his last two elections. In 2006, he defeated Democrat Russell Hummel 55%-45%. In 2008, he defeated Democrat John Woodward 52%-48%.
He introduced legislation that would eliminate school property taxes in Pennsylvania. He was a strong opponent of the REAL ID Act. He authored the historic Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) scholarship. Today over 150,000 students have earned the scholarship to go to private schools.
- House Finance Committee (Chairman)
- House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (Chairman)
- House Game and Fisheries Committee
- House Appropriations Committee
2010 gubernatorial campaign
In November 2009, Rohrer announced that he would not seek re-election to the State House, and would instead seek the Republican nomination for governor. His campaign team, which was headed by Jeff Coleman, a former colleague of Rohrer's in the State House, received praise for its innovative and effective use of technology, including social media. Rohrer's primary opponent, State Attorney General Tom Corbett, was endorsed by the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania on February 13, 2010, but that endorsement also generated support for Rohrer from members of the Tea Party movement. Rohrer and his supporters organized a day-long rally entitled "Mobilize for Liberty", which included seminars and a speech from Rohrer, that took place down the hall from the main ballroom in which the State Committee was announcing its endorsement of Corbett. Following its endorsement of Corbett, the State Committee sent-out mailers attacking Rohrer's vote in favor of the 2005 legislative pay raise, as well as his 2001 vote in favor of a plan to increase lawmaker pensions by upwards of 50 percent.
Ultimately, Corbett defeated Rohrer 69%-31%. Rohrer only won two counties in the state: Lancaster County (52%) and Berks County (80%). He nearly won Clinton and Lycoming Counties During the following summer, supporters initiated a write-in campaign for the November election. Rohrer did not endorse nor denounce the ultimately unsuccessful campaign.
2012 U.S. Senate election
On Friday, November 4, 2011, Jeff Coleman, who again signed-on to advise Rohrer's campaign, told the Associated Press that Rohrer was considering a run for the United States Senate seat currently held by Democrat Bob Casey Jr., and would likely officially announce his candidacy later in the month. Rohrer officially announced his candidacy at rally near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on November 21. He also released a web video announcing his entrance to the race.
A poll taken shortly after his entrance into the race found Rohrer ahead of the rest of the primary field, besting his closest competitor by ten percentage points. In a Pittsburgh Tribune Review/WPXI-TV poll taken February 2–6, 2012, Rohrer continued to lead his opponents, albeit by a slighter margin; businessman Tom Smith had the support of 8% of those polled to Rohrer's 10%. A later poll conducted by Franklin & Marshall College on March 20–25 placed Rohrer slightly behind Smith, with 7% and 9% support, respectively, with 81% of those surveyed remaining undecided.
Rohrer was defeated in the primary by fellow Republican Tom Smith on April 24, 2012.
Rohrer and his wife, Ruth Ann, have six children and five grandchildren. He currently serves as president of the Pennsylvania Pastors' Network, a branch of Let Freedom Ring, Inc. that informs clergy on issues pertaining to public policy. On March 21, 2013 he was awarded "Alumnus of the Year" at the annual Bob Jones University Bible Conference.
- "SESSION OF 1993 - 177TH OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - No. 1" (PDF). Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 1993-01-05.
- Brennan, Kevin (24 April 2012). "Smith Wins Pennsylvania Senate GOP Primary". National Journal. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- Gibson, Keegan (28 June 2012). "Rohrer Gets a New Gig". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
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- Ayers, Chuck (March 18, 1992). "2 More Candidates Intend to Seek 6th District Bids". The Morning Call. Retrieved November 24, 2011.
- Phyrillas, Tony (May 6, 2009). "Rohrer introduces school property tax elimination bill". The Mercury. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- Rohrer, Sam. "REAL ID and the PASS Act America's Growing Surveillance Society". Address to the 10th Annual Freedom21 Conference. Scribd.
- Phyrillas, Tony (September 15, 2009). "'False hope': Area reps say no deal to new pact". The Mercury. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
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- Gibson, Keegan (November 22, 2011). "Rohrer Launches Senate Bid". PoliticsPA. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- Fitzgerald, Tom (February 16, 2010). "State GOP endorses Corbett for governor". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- "Pennsylvania Governor Primary Results". PA Secretary of State. May 18, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
- Schultheis, Emily (August 8, 2010). "Rohrer supporters launch write-in campaign". Politico. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- AFP Blog. "AFP-PA welcomes Pennsylvania grassroots hero, Sam Rohrer as Pennsylvania's new state director". Americans for Prosperity. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- Levy, Marc (4 November 2011). "Sam Rohrer to run for Casey's Senate seat". MSNBC. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- "Former state Rep. Sam Rohrer joins U.S. Senate race". Pittsburgh Tribune. 5 November 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- Olson, Laura (22 November 2011). "Ex-state legislator joins race for Casey seat". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- "Video Announcement". Sam Rohrer for U.S. Senate. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
- Foster, Brittany (November 22, 2011). "Poll: Rohrer Leads Senate Field". PoliticsPA. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- "Gingrich winning in both Arizona and Pennsylvania" (PDF). Public Policy Polling. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- Fontaine, Tom (10 February 2012). "GOP lacks name recognition in Casey bid". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
- Krawczeniuk, Borys (28 March 2012). "Poll: Santorum, Romney neck-and-neck in Pennsylvania". The Scranton Times Tribune. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- Gibson, Keegan (28 March 2012). "Bachmann Endorses Rohrer". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 24 April 2012.