Kathy Dahlkemper

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Kathy Dahlkemper (1957-) is a member of the United States House of Representatives (Democrat) representing the 3rd Congressional District of Pennsylvania. She first took office in 2009, running as a community leader without political experience; she campaigned that she was the owner of a small landscaping business who, as opposed to her opponent, had had to make a payroll.

She is a centrist-to-right Democrat, supporting gun rights, urging troop withdrawal from Iraq and opposing abortion.

Committee assignments

Congressional caucuses


Health care

She voted for both Democratic House health care bills. On her campaign website, she explains "I have a unique insight into health care. I began my career as a Clinical Dietitian, after receiving my Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Edinboro University. More recently, as a small business owner, I have come to understand healthcare from an employer perspective. We offer health care to our employees in an industry where many employers do not. "[1]


She criticized NAFTA and CAFTA "have failed our workers so far; they must be amended and renegotiated to bring in labor agreements that can help protect our workers. I promise to make it a priority to turn free trade into fair trade...I support legislation that creates incentives for manufacturing the advanced products of new and future economies within the U.S. We should not give companies an advantage to go overseas by way of tax breaks or other means...I advocate administering and enforcing strict fines on companies that hire illegal immigrants...farmers should never be driven to hire illegal workers. Legal immigrant workers in adequate quantities to fulfill our farming needs must be made available. Unnecessary barriers to entry must be altered and a steady supply of workers must be furnished. "

In January 2010, she joined in the Blue Dog Democrats' Blueprint for Financial Reform, for reducing spending and balancing the budget.[2]

Foreign poliicy

While supporting operations in Afghanistan, Dahlkemper strongly urged bringing troops back from Iraq.

Voting ratings

Few ratings are available for first-term legislators who have not yet established a voting record.

Organization Rating Date
American Civil Liberties Union
American Conservative Union
Americans for Democratic Action
Cato Institute
Christian Coalition
Human Rights Campaign
League of Conservation Voters
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Rifle Association
National Right to Life Committee
National Taxpayers Union
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Sources: Links to the voting ratings guides of the above organizations together with brief descriptive information on the organizations themselves, may be found at: http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Interest_group/Catalogs

2008 Election

Candidate Party Vote total Percentage
Kathy Dahlkemper Democrat 146,846 51.24%
Phil English Republican 139,757 48.76%

Source: Federal Election Results - final official tally

2010 Elections

Dahlkemper is one of the 20 Democratic representatives, all of whom are in districts won by McCain-Palin in the 2008 Presidential vote, specifically targeted by Sarah Palin with the controversial slogan "Don't retreat, reload."[3] Palin's challenge, however, was turned into a fundraising slogan by Dahlkemper. [4]

According to a spokesman, Marie Francis, Dahkemper, "as the first Democrat to hold the 3rd District office in 32 years, Mrs. Dahlkemper expected stiff competition 'no matter what she does or how moderate she is.' Francis mentioned a nonpartisan National Journal rating that put Dahlkemper as the 8th most centrist Democrat, implying that Palin's targeting might be more for Republican than conservative reasons.[5] Palin's Facebook page focused on Dahlkemper's vote for health care reform: "Maybe when they join the millions of unemployed, they'll understand why Americans wanted them to focus on job creation and an invigorated private sector," she wrote. "Come November, we're going to print pink slips for members of Congress as fast as they've been printing money." [6]

In October 2010, the Washington Post reported that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee defunded ads for her district, preferring to spend them in an election where there was a better chance of success.[7] Her seat was targeted by the conservative 60 Plus Association. [8]


  1. On the Issues, Kathy Dahlkemper for Congress
  2. Dahlkemper Announces Blue Dog Plan for Fiscal Reform, Office of Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, 25 January 2010
  3. Don't Retreat - Reload
  4. Sam Stein (31 March 2010), "Palin's 20 House Dem Targets Use Her As A Fundraising Ploy", Huffington Post
  5. Matt Snyder (25 March 2010), "Palin targets Dahlkemper despite centrist ranking", The Herald, Sharon, Pa.
  6. Erica Erwin (25 March 2010), "Palin targets Dahlkemper for health-care vote", GoErie.com
  7. Aaron Blake (12 October 2010), "DCCC pulls out of six vulnerable districts", Washington Post
  8. Jim Kuhnhenn (9 September 2010), "Two GOP-leaning groups spending $5 million in ads", Huffington Post