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Joe Hoeffel

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Title: Joe Hoeffel  
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Subject: United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2004, Josh Shapiro, United States House of Representatives elections in West Virginia, 1998, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States House of Representatives elections, 2002
Collection: 1950 Births, Boston University Alumni, County Commissioners in Pennsylvania, Democratic Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, Living People, Members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, Montgomery County Commissioners (Pennsylvania), Pennsylvania Democrats, People from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Temple University Alumni, Temple University Beasley School of Law Alumni, William Penn Charter School Alumni
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Joe Hoeffel

Joe Hoeffel
Member of the Montgomery County
Board of Commissioners
In office
January 7, 2008[1] – January 3, 2012
Preceded by Ruth Damsker
Succeeded by Josh Shapiro
In office
January 6, 1992[2] – January 3, 1999
Preceded by Rita Banning
Succeeded by James Maza[3]
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 13th district
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Jon Fox
Succeeded by Allyson Schwartz
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 153rd district
In office
January 4, 1977 – November 30, 1984
Preceded by Daniel Beren
Succeeded by Jon Fox
Personal details
Born Joseph Merrill Hoeffel III
(1950-09-03) September 3, 1950
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Francesca Hoeffel
Alma mater Temple University Law School
Boston University

Joseph Merrill "Joe" Hoeffel III ( ; born September 3, 1950) is an American politician. A Democrat, Hoeffel was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1999 to 2005, representing Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district. He also served multiple terms on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, and from 1977 to 1984, was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. A native of Philadelphia, he is a graduate of Boston University and Temple University School of Law.

Hoeffel was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States Senate in 2004, and for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2010.


  • Background 1
  • Political career 2
    • Career in Congress 2.1
    • After Congress 2.2
      • 2010 gubernatorial campaign 2.2.1
      • Subsequent political career 2.2.2
  • Political positions 3
    • Education 3.1
    • Labor 3.2
    • Abortion 3.3
    • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual Rights 3.4
  • Personal life 4
  • Congressional electoral history 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Hoeffel was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Joseph and Eleanore Hoeffel.[4] After graduating from William Penn Charter School in 1968, he attended Boston University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1972. He served in the Army Reserves from 1970 to 1976.[5]

He first became involved in politics during the

Political offices
Preceded by
Ruth Damsker
Member of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners
Succeeded by
Josh Shapiro
Preceded by
Rita Banning
Member of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners
Succeeded by
James Maza
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jon Fox
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district

Succeeded by
Allyson Schwartz
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Preceded by
Daniel Beren
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
for the 153rd District

Succeeded by
Jon Fox
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bill Lloyd
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
Joe Sestak

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

External links

  1. ^ The Intelligencer
  2. ^ Klein Funk, Leslie (January 7, 1992). "New Montco Commissioners Look Ahead". The Allentown Morning Call. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  3. ^ The Philadelphia Inquirer
  4. ^ The Washington Post 
  5. ^ a b c "Joseph M. Hoeffel Resume & Biography". Friends of Joe Hoeffel. 
  6. ^ a b c d Nunnally, Derrick. "Hoeffel's run for governor is latest in a long quest".  
  7. ^ Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Hoeffel Biography Page at the Wayback Machine (archived December 25, 2002)
  8. ^ Karen E. Quinones Miller, Mele Won't Give Up Chairmanship, as Informally Planned, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/9/98
  9. ^ 1996 General Election Results,, 11/5/96
  10. ^ 1998 General Election Results,, 11/3/98
  11. ^ Drulis, Michael (2002). "Best & Worst Websites".  
  12. ^ 2004 General Election Results,, 11/2/04
  13. ^ Hoeffel relents on lieutenant governor race , Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/9/06
  14. ^ Press Release, Bucks County Democratic Party
  15. ^ Hoeffel planning to run again for Montco commissioner, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/15/07
  16. ^ County Republicans retain power , Margaret Gibbons, The Reporter (Lansdale, PA), 11/6/07
  17. ^ , 12/18/2007GOP and Dems split Montco; Castor on the outsEmilie Lounsberry, Philadelphia Inquirer,
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Coughlin, Matt (July 18, 2012). "Ex Montco commissioner to serve probation on false swearing charge, but unrepentant". Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  23. ^ Gibbons, Margaret (May 25, 2012). "Matthews' day in court could come on May 31". Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  24. ^ DeHuff, Jenny (December 6, 2011). "Commissioner Matthews arrested, resigns as chairman". The Times Herald. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Joe Hoeffel on Education". Joe Hoeffel 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  26. ^ "Joe Hoeffel Endorsements". Joe Hoeffel 2010. Archived from the original on February 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  27. ^ "Joseph Hoeffel on Abortion". Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  28. ^ "Michelman, citing abortion rights, backs Hoeffel for governor". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  29. ^ "NOW it's Hoeffel's turn for an endorsement". Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  30. ^ "Steel City Stonewall Democrats - completed questionnaire from JOE HOEFFEL who is seeking election for Governor of Pennsylvania". 
  31. ^ Hoeffel was star player in high school, college, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/27/01
  32. ^ a b "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 


*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2004, write-ins received 580 votes.

Pennsylvania Senator (Class III): 2004 Results[32]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2004 Joseph M. Hoeffel 2,334,126 42% Arlen Specter 2,925,080 53% James Clymer Constitution 220,056 4% Betsy Summers Libertarian 79,263 1% *
Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district: Results 1996–2002[32]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1996 Joseph M. Hoeffel 120,220 49% Jon D. Fox 120,304 49% Thomas Patrick Burke Libertarian 4,930 2% Bill Ryan Natural Law 525 <1%
1998 Joseph M. Hoeffel 95,105 52% Jon D. Fox 85,915 47% Thomas Patrick Burke Libertarian 3,470 2%
2000 Joseph M. Hoeffel 146,026 53% Stewart J. Greenleaf 126,501 46% Ken Cavanaugh Libertarian 4,224 2%
2002 Joseph M. Hoeffel 107,945 51% Melissa Brown 100,295 47% John P. McDermott Constitution 3,627 2%

Congressional electoral history

He has been married for 26 years to Francesca Hoeffel. They live in Abington Township, a suburb of Philadelphia, and have two children. His grandfather, also named Joseph M. "Joe" Hoeffel, served as coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1921.[31]

Personal life

He favors amending Pennsylvania's Hate Crimes Law to include crimes targeting LGBT people and supports full marriage rights.[30]

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual Rights

[29] Hoeffel has a 100% rating from


Hoeffel has a lifetime 97% rating from the AFL-CIO and is endorsed by several labor unions in the Philadelphia area.[26]


According to his campaign website, Hoeffel favors expanded funding for early childhood education programs, drop-out prevention and drop-out reengagement programs and centers, and basic education for school board members. He favors keeping the current defined benefit pension plan for all teachers over a change to a defined contribution plan for new hires. Hoeffel would continue the school funding formula implemented by Governor Ed Rendell to reduce dependence on local property taxes to fund schools.[25]


Political positions

Within days of losing the 2010 primary for governor, Hoeffel announced he would seek another term as county commissioner in 2011. Hoeffel later followed Matthews, who also initially announced his intention to seek re-election, in withdrawing from the contest in early 2011 and was not renominated by his party. A subsequent grand jury report found questionable behavior on Hoeffel's part for his participation in discussing county business at private breakfast meetings held with Matthews and senior aides–an alleged violation of state Sunshine laws. However, unlike Matthews, who was later alleged to have perjured himself while testifying to the grand jury,[22] Hoeffel was never charged with criminal wrongdoing.[23][24]

Subsequent political career

2010 Democratic Gubernatorial Primary results [21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dan Onorato 452,611 45.1
Democratic Jack Wagner 244,234 24.3
Democratic Anthony Williams 180,932 18.0
Democratic Joe Hoeffel 125,989 12.6
Total votes 1,003,766 97.7

In the May 18, 2010 primary, he placed fourth out of four candidates, receiving 130,799 votes, or 12.7% of the total votes cast, and winning Montgomery County, though without a majority.[20]

On September 20, 2009, Hoeffel announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination for Stonewall Democrats, the United Auto Workers, and various local affiliates of Democracy for America.[19]

2010 gubernatorial campaign

Hopes were high that the Democrats could win majority control on the commission due to party gains in the county and a fractured county Republican party. Hoeffel finished second, behind Castor, winning a seat on the Commission, but his running mate fell short, keeping control in Republican hands.[16] However, thanks to a deal with Matthews, Hoeffel became Vice Chairman of the Commission, in exchange for supporting Matthews' bid to become Chairman over Castor.[17]

In February 2007, Hoeffel announced that he would resign his post in order to run for the Montgomery County Commission with incumbent Ruth Damsker. Hoeffel's and Damsker's opponents were incumbent Jim Matthews and district attorney Bruce Castor.[15]

In July 2006, Rendell named Hoeffel the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development where he would oversee the International Commerce Office of the DCED.

Hoeffel announced that he would run for Lieutenant Governor in March 2006 against incumbent Catherine Baker Knoll, but dropped out of the race a day later. Governor Ed Rendell convinced Hoeffel that the Democratic ticket needed geographic balance; Knoll is from Allegheny County; Rendell is from Philadelphia.[13] The Democratic Committees of Bucks and Chester Counties had overwhelmingly voted to endorse him over Knoll.[14]

Many speculated that Hoeffel would attempt to run against U.S. Senator Rick Santorum in 2006. However, Hoeffel endorsed Bob Casey, Jr. in that race; Casey went on to defeat the two-term incumbent in a landslide.

Hoeffel during his 2010 gubernatorial campaign

After Congress

Rather than holding onto his seat, Hoeffel decided in 2004 to run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Arlen Specter. In the election held on November 2, 2004, Hoeffel was defeated by more than ten points to Specter, 53%-42%, and only carried four counties.[12] Hoeffel was at a considerable disadvantage because of Specter's popularity in the Philadelphia suburbs.

On July 20, 2004, Hoeffel became the third sitting U.S. Congressman in one week, following Charles Rangel and Bobby Rush, to be arrested for trespassing while protesting alleged human rights violations in front of the Sudanese Embassy. U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, Hoeffel's Republican opponent in the 2004 U.S. Senate race, criticized the arrest as a publicity stunt.

In Congress, Hoeffel was a member of two House committees: International Relations and Transportation and Infrastructure.

He won re-election twice, though not without difficulty. In 2000 he won an expensive race against Republican State Senator Stewart Greenleaf, becoming the first Democrat to serve more than one term in the district in decades. In 2002, he defeated wealthy ophthalmologist Melissa Brown by less than expected; the 13th had been made somewhat more Democratic with the addition of part of Philadelphia. During the 2002 election, Hoeffel's website was praised as among the best of the 2002 election cycle.[11]

In 1996, Hoeffel made a third run at Congress, taking on his former colleague on the Montgomery County Commission, Jon Fox, now a freshman Congressman. That year, Fox hung onto his seat by an 84-vote margin.[9] However, in 1998, in his fourth attempt, Hoeffel broke through. Hobbled by a tough Republican primary and the fallout from the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, Fox could not hang on a second time. Hoeffel won by more than 5,000 votes.[10] Hoeffel became only the second Democrat to represent the Montgomery County-based district in 86 years.

Career in Congress

After several years out of politics, Hoeffel won a seat on the Montgomery County Commission in 1991. In a surprise to the political establishment, Hoeffel supported Republican Mario Mele for Commission chairman over Jon Fox.[8]

In 1984, he gave up his seat to run for the United States House of Representatives in the 13th congressional district, but was defeated by longtime Republican incumbent Lawrence Coughlin. Hoeffel sought a rematch in 1986, and was defeated again. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Temple University School of Law in 1986, and then worked at the Norristown law firms of Wright, Manning, Kinkaid & Oliver (1987–90) and Kane, Pugh & Driscoll (1990–91).[6]

Hoeffel successfully ran again for state House in 1976, after Beren decided to not seek re-election. He served from 1977 to 1985, and was the first Democrat to represent the Abington area since World War I.[7] The first bill he passed as a state legislator was a campaign reform proposal in 1978 improving financial disclosure.[5]

After working for Studds for a year, Hoeffel challenged four-term Republican incumbent Daniel Beren for a seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 153rd legislative district, in 1974. He was defeated by 1,505 votes.[6] From 1975 to 1976, he was the Central Montgomery County administrator for the American Red Cross.[5]

Political career

[6].overfishing, for whom Hoeffel did research on foreign Massachusetts of Gerry Studds In 1973, he became a legislative aide to Representative [6]

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