Matching family tree profiles for Bob Casey, Jr., U.S. Senator
About Bob Casey, Jr., U.S. Senator
Robert Patrick "Bob" Casey, Jr. (born April 13, 1960) is an American attorney and politician. He is currently senior United States Senator from Pennsylvania, and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served as Pennsylvania Treasurer and Pennsylvania Auditor General.
Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Casey is the son of Bob Casey, Sr., a former Governor of Pennsylvania. After graduating from Scranton Preparatory School in 1978, he attended the College of the Holy Cross. He received his law degree from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America.
Casey practiced law in Scranton, Pennsylvania, before beginning his political career as Pennsylvania's Auditor General, a post to which he was elected to in 1996 and re-elected in 2000.
In the 2002 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, Casey attempted to follow his father's footsteps in a run for Governor of Pennsylvania. He was defeated, however, in the Democratic primary by eventual general election victor Ed Rendell. After being term-limited out of his position as Auditor General, Casey was elected State Treasurer in the 2004 election.
Casey defeated incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Rick Santorum in the 2006 election. He is the first Democrat to be elected to a full term and win reelection in the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania since Joe Clark won reelection in 1962.
Early life, education, and law career
Casey was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, one of eight children of Ellen (née Harding) and Bob Casey, the 42nd governor of Pennsylvania. He is of Irish descent on both his mother's and father's side.
Casey played basketball and graduated from Scranton Preparatory School in 1978. Following in his father's footsteps, he graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1982, and received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America in 1988. Between both college and law school, Casey served as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and spent a year teaching 5th grade and coaching basketball at the Gesu School in inner city Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Casey practiced law in Scranton from 1991 until 1996.
Early political career
State Auditor General
Casey ran for and was elected Pennsylvania State Auditor General in 1996. He was re-elected in 2000, and served for two terms, from 1997 to 2005.
In a 2002 PoliticsPA feature story designating politicians with yearbook superlatives, he was named the "Most Likely to Succeed."
2002 gubernatorial election
Casey attempted to follow in his father's footsteps by running for Pennsylvania Governor. Casey faced former Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell in the Democratic primary election. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party threw their support behind Casey, whom they saw as a more electable candidate than Rendell. In a bitter primary, Rendell won the nomination by winning only 10 out of 67 counties: Philadelphia and its suburbs: Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Delaware, its Lehigh Valley exurbs: Berks, Lehigh and Northampton, and Centre County, the home of Penn State University. Rendell went on to win the general election.
In 2004, Casey, who was term limited in his auditor general position, ran for another state-wide office. He was elected Pennsylvania State Treasurer on a platform advocating government accountability.
In 2005, Casey received calls from U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, as well as Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), the Senate Minority Leader. Both men asked him to run for U.S. Senate in 2006 against Republican incumbent Rick Santorum. On March 5, 2005, Casey announced he would seek the Democratic nomination for the Senate race. Casey's run for the Senate was his fifth statewide campaign in nine years.
After he announced that he would run, Casey was almost immediately endorsed by Governor Ed Rendell, his primary election opponent from 2002. He was endorsed by two Democrats who had been mentioned as possible U.S. Senate nominees: former Congressman Joe Hoeffel who ran against Pennsylvania's other Senator, Arlen Specter, in 2004, and former State Treasurer Barbara Hafer, whom many in the pro-choice movement attempted to convince to run against Casey in the Democratic primary.
In the Democratic primary, Casey faced two Democrats with more liberal viewpoints: college professor Chuck Pennacchio and pension lawyer Alan Sandals. Both argued that Casey's views on abortion and other social issues were too conservative for most Pennsylvania Democrats. However, Casey easily defeated both challengers in the May 16 primary, receiving 85% of the vote.
On election night, Casey won the race with 59% of the vote, compared to 41% for incumbent Senator Rick Santorum. Casey's margin of victory was the highest ever for a Democrat running for the United States Senate in Pennsylvania. Casey's 17.4-point victory margin was the largest victory margin for a challenger to an incumbent Senator since James Abdnor unseated George McGovern by 18.8 points in 1980.
Casey was the first Pennsylvania Democrat elected to a full term in the Senate since Joe Clark was reelected in 1962.
Casey was up for re-election in 2012, and stated his intention to seek re-election in late 2010. His re-election prospects were uncertain. Observers noted that as the election approached, Casey, an early supporter of Obama, has “started to oppose the president outright or developed more nuanced responses to events that differentiate him from Mr. Obama. Analysts say Mr. Casey wants to put some distance between himself and a president whose job approval ratings in Pennsylvania are poor.” In October 2011, the National Journal noted that “the Scranton area is hugely important for 2012” for both Obama and Casey, but “the city has among the worst unemployment in the state, and it's filled with the blue-collar Dems who weren't very enthusiastic about Obama when he first ran for president. How Casey navigates his relationship with the president will speak volumes about his re-election prospects.” In December 2011, it was reported that the AFL–CIO would be spending “over $170,000” on pro-Casey TV ads.
Casey easily defeated challenger Joseph Vodvarka in the spring Democratic primary, and faced former coal company owner and Republican nominee Tom Smith in the fall general election. He defeated Smith on November 6, 2012, to win a second term, making him the first Democrat elected to a second term in the Senate from Pennsylvania since Joe Clark's 1962 victory.
On March 28, 2008 Casey announced his endorsement of frontrunning candidate Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic Party presidential primary. The Pennsylvania Report said that he "struck gold" by endorsing Obama early in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, a move that gave him "inside access to the halls of the White House.". Casey campaigned across Pennsylvania in support of Obama's candidacy in the months leading up to the primary in that state; they bowled together at Holiday Bowl in Altoona, PA.
Casey is a co-sponsor of S.968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act. This act, as well as the associated H.R.3261, Stop Online Piracy Act, has been widely characterized by its many opponents to threaten the very existence of a free, uncensored internet.
Health care reform
Casey supported President Barack Obama's health reform legislation; he voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009, and he voted for the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
Casey supported the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348), a bill voted down in the 110th United States Congress, which could have provided a path to legal citizenship for undocumented persons currently residing in the United States. He has also supported the Clinton amendment, the Menendez amendment, and the Alaska amendments.
During the 2006 Senate race, Casey also expressed support for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, saying this: "if I were in the United States Senate I would vote yes."
Casey, like his father, is pro-life. He has publicly stated his support for overturning Roe v. Wade. From Casey's election until Specter's party switch in April 2009, Pennsylvania had the distinction of being represented in the Senate by a pro-life Democrat and a pro-choice Republican (Arlen Specter).
He supports the Pregnant Women Support Act, legislation that grew out of Democrats for Life of America's 95-10 Initiative. The Initiative and the Pregnant Women Support Act seek to reduce the abortion rate by providing support to women in unplanned pregnancies. He expressed support for the confirmation of both John Roberts and Samuel Alito for seats on the Supreme Court of the United States; these judges are believed to be in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. Casey also opposes the funding of embryonic stem-cell research.
Casey voted against barring HHS grants to organizations that provide abortion services, where such services may often not be central to the organization’s chief purpose. Casey also supports over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception, and has voted to overturn the Mexico City policy, which bars the issuance of federal funds to overseas organizations that perform or refer for abortions. The authenticity of Casey's pro-life commitment has been questioned by some partisan Republican pro-life sources.
In January 2010, a writer for CBN wrote, “I wouldn't want to be Senator Bob Casey right about now. He is coming under enormous pressure from pro-life groups because they say the 'Pro-life' Democratic Senator has not stood strong on the abortion issue during the current healthcare debate.” Casey, according to the CBN writer, had recently gotten “an earful and then some from pro-lifers during a press conference held at the Pennsylvania Capitol.”
Casey received a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2011. He voted against defunding Planned Parenthood. Despite giving him a 100% rating, NARAL still considers him "anti-choice" and has not endorsed him.
Casey was a co-sponsor of and voted for the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010.
Casey was a co-sponsor of and voted for the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Casey is a co-sponsor of S. 1584 (Employment Non-Discrimination Act)
Casey has been a longtime supporter of civil unions and as of April 2013, he announced his support of same-sex marriage.
Casey on several occasions supported same sex partners adopting children, and specifically expressed his opposition to legislation that would prohibit adoption by same-sex couples.
In an diocesan survey, Casey expressed support for "requiring employers or health insurance plans to cover contraceptives in their prescription drug plans". He also stated his support for "a provision in the state’s budget to fund contraceptive services." Casey's views on this extend to the federal funding of contraception, which he also supports. However, Casey also opposes laws that would "force pharmacists to fill a prescription contrary to their moral beliefs."
On economic and education-based issues, Casey falls more closely in line with mainstream Democratic policies.
Casey's website reports he has also criticized what he views as "draconian cuts to Medicare and Medicaid," and has stated that Medicare Part D is "fundamentally flawed" and in need of a "complete overhaul." Furthermore, it states Casey's support for the Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, which would expand the Family and Medical Leave Act, authored in the early 1990s by Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, to companies with at least 25 employees.
Casey is an opponent of privatizing Social Security, and is a critic of many recent tax cuts, which he claims have "not caused the 'trickle-down' economic growth" that was promised from them. Casey had also criticized Santorum for voting against increasing the minimum wage.
Casey voted in January 2010 to re-confirm Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
According to the candidates' questionnaire, Casey opposes school vouchers.
Casey opposes drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Instead, he supports increased federal investment in hybrid and alternative fuel technology to help wean the United States off of foreign oil. In a debate, Casey criticized his Republican opponent Rick Santorum for not recognizing the danger of global warming. He also supports increased funding for Brownfield cleanup, as well as a reinstatement of the polluter-pays principle for the Superfund program.
Casey voted for the confirmation of both Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Casey and his wife Terese were married in 1985, and they have four daughters: Elyse, Caroline, Julia and Marena.