Rick Santorum - United States Senator, PennsylvaniaRick Santorum - United States Senator - United States Senator, Pennsylvania
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About Rick Santorum - Biography
Senator Rick Santorum

Born in 1958, Rick Santorum was raised in Butler County, Pennsylvania. Growing up in western Pennsylvania, the son of an Italian immigrant, Rick developed a belief system that has served him throughout his life--if you work hard and commit to a core set of values, anything is possible.

Following his graduation from high school, Rick attended Penn State University where he first became actively involved in the political process, serving as a campaign volunteer for the late Senator John Heinz. After graduating from Penn State with a degree in Political Science, he received his M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh. He moved to Harrisburg, working as Administrative Assistant to State Senator Doyle Corman and later received his J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law. After receiving his law degree, Rick returned to western Pennsylvania to put his education to use.

While working as an attorney for the Pittsburgh law firm of Kirkpatrick and Lockhart, Rick met Karen Garver. In 1990 they were married, beginning the family that would become the most important and inspiring presence in his life. More than a decade and a half later, Rick and Karen are the parents of six wonderful children--Elizabeth, Johnny, Daniel, Peter, Sarah Maria, and Patrick. Of all the jobs he has held throughout his career, and of all his accomplishments as a legislator and a public servant, Rick is most proud of his role as a husband and a father.

1990 was a big year for Rick. In addition to getting married, he became a candidate for elected office for the first time. Pitted against a seven-term incumbent Congressman in a heavily Democratic district--with a Republican National Committee that admittedly didn't even know his name--Rick was the very definition of a long-shot candidate. But he ran an energetic, grassroots campaign, and on Election Day, Rick became the United States Representative for the 18th District of Pennsylvania.

The House of Representatives is not always an easy place for a young Congressman to make his name, but that didn't stop Rick. He was a member of the renowned "Gang of Seven," a group of newly elected House members focused on cleaning up the abuse and corruption that was rampant at that time. Famously, they were responsible for uncovering the House banking scandal, an illegal and immoral scheme that was stealing money directly from the taxpayers.

After being re-elected to a second term in Congress, Rick set his sights on serving all of Pennsylvania in the United States Senate. Once again, facing an incumbent Democrat, Rick was not expected to win. But his tireless campaigning and fresh, honest message resonated with Pennsylvania's voters, and on January 4, 1995, Rick Santorum was sworn-in as the United States Senator from Pennsylvania. He was 36 years old.

Representing Pennsylvania in the United States Senate has been one of the most rewarding experiences of Rick's life. As a Senator, Rick's role is to be a passionate advocate for the things that are best for Pennsylvania, for his constituents, for the country, and ultimately for the world. During his tenure, he has fought for the priorities of Pennsylvania's 55,000 family farmers, worked to revive America's communities and empower citizens to enjoy better lives, and reformed the welfare system, enabling millions of Americans to trade a welfare check for a paycheck. He believes profoundly in the dignity of all human life, and has consistently fought for measures that protect the most vulnerable among us. Rick has committed himself to eradicating the Global HIV/AIDS epidemic, strengthening and protecting Social Security, and providing every American with access to quality, affordable health care.

Currently, Rick is the Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, a position to which he was first elected by his peers in 2001, following Pennsylvania's decision to return him to Washington for a second six year term. As Conference Chairman, Rick directs the communications operations of the Senate Republicans and is the third-ranking member of the Republican Leadership. He is the youngest member of the Leadership, and the first Pennsylvanian to serve in such a prominent position since Senator Hugh Scott was Republican Leader over thirty years ago.

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