ListMoto - Joe Hoeffel

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JOSEPH MERRILL HOEFFEL III (/ˈhʌfəl/ HUF-fle ; born September 3, 1950) is an American politician. A Democrat , Hoeffel was a member of the United States House of Representatives
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 1977-84, was a member of the Pennsylvania
House of Representatives . A native of Philadelphia
, he is a graduate of Boston University
Boston University
and Temple University School of Law .

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


* 1 Background

* 2 Political career

* 2.1 Career in Congress

* 2.2 After Congress

* 2.2.1 2010 gubernatorial campaign * 2.2.2 Subsequent political career

* 3 Political positions

* 3.1 Education * 3.2 Labor * 3.3 Abortion
* 3.4 Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual rights

* 4 Writing * 5 Personal life * 6 Congressional electoral history * 7 References * 8 External links


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

He first became involved in politics during the 1972 presidential election , when his opposition to the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
led him to support Senator George McGovern
George McGovern
. In 1973, he became a legislative aide to Representative Gerry Studds of Massachusetts
, for whom Hoeffel did research on foreign overfishing .


Hoeffel's official congressional photo

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. From 1975 to 1976, he was the Central Montgomery County administrator for the American Red Cross
American Red Cross

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
World War I
. The first bill he passed as a state legislator was a campaign reform proposal in 1978 improving financial disclosure.

In 1984, he gave up his seat to run for the United States
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 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.

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

On July 20, 2004, Hoeffel became the third sitting U.S. Congressman in one week, following Charles Rangel and Bobby Rush
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
U.S. Senate
race, criticized the arrest as a publicity stunt.

Rather than holding onto his seat, Hoeffel decided in 2004 to run for the U.S. Senate
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. Hoeffel was at a considerable disadvantage because of Specter's popularity in the Philadelphia


Hoeffel endorsed Bob Casey, Jr. for the United States
United States
Senate in 2006 ; Casey defeated incumbent Republican Rick Santorum by a wide margin.

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
Ed Rendell
convinced Hoeffel that the Democratic ticket needed geographic balance; Knoll is from Allegheny County ; Rendell is from Philadelphia. The Democratic Committees of Bucks and Chester Counties had overwhelmingly voted to endorse him over Knoll.

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.

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 .

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. 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.

2010 Gubernatorial Campaign

Main article: Pennsylvania
gubernatorial election, 2010

On September 20, 2009, Hoeffel announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination for Governor of Pennsylvania
. During the campaign, he called for the introduction of a graduated income tax for the state, supported the implementation of a statewide single-payer health care program, stressed his pro-choice position on abortion and opposition to school vouchers , and distinguished himself as the only candidate supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage .

He received endorsements from NOW , the Stonewall Democrats , the United Auto Workers
United Auto Workers
, and various local affiliates of Democracy for America .

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.

2010 Democratic Gubernatorial Primary results 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

Subsequent Political Career

Within days of losing the 2010 primary for governor, Hoeffel announced he would seek another term as county commissioner in 2011. He 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, Hoeffel was never charged with criminal wrongdoing.



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
Ed Rendell
to reduce dependence on local property taxes to fund schools.


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


Hoeffel has a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America . He is endorsed by former NARAL Pro-Choice America President Kate Michelman , and by the Pennsylvania
chapter of the National Organization for Women


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


Hoeffel's book about his vote for the Iraq War, The Iraq Lie: How the White House Sold the War, was published in 2014 by Progressive Press. Hoeffel provides a first-person account of the Congressional debate on the Iraq War Resolution, and argues that the Bush White House misled Congress and the country and took the United States
United States
to war in Iraq under false pretenses. Hoeffel suggests intelligence reforms to prevent such deceptions from happening again.


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
Green Bay Packers
in 1921.


Pennsylvania\'s 13th congressional district : Results 1996–2002 YEAR






Joseph M. Hoeffel 120,220 49%

JON D. FOX 120,304 49%

Thomas Patrick Burke Libertarian 4,930 2%

Bill Ryan Natural Law 525