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Pennsylvania House of Representatives Archives

Oral History Project

Robert W. O'Donnell (D - 1974-1993), on Campaigning: Robert J. Butera (R - 1963-1977), on Leadership:
Picture of Robert W. O'Donnell -- Click here to link to the full size picture. "After I get elected the first time, I went back campaigning. I'm knocking door-to door - I'm remembering now that my mother had been the crossing guard in front of the school for generations - and I'm knocking on doors and I come to this one home and the woman opens the door and I said, "Hello," I'm about to introduce myself and she says, "I know who you are." And I think, "That's right, I'm the State Representative from around here" and she said, "You're Ruth's boy aren't you?" So, another valuable experience that one collects along the road that is helpful in public life is a measure of humility. You don't want too many of those, but it's nice every now and then to have that tempered by humility." Picture of Robert J. Butera -- Click here to link to the full size picture. "I became the senior Member of the largest Republican delegation in the state, and I was only thirty years old, and I didn't know anything. I was very green. I became the Whip at age thirty. Well, almost thirty-one. I was the youngest Whip ever, and it was strictly because of those circumstances over which I had no control. I had to perform; I'm not trying to be too self-deprecating, but circumstances play a huge role in one's political career. I became the Whip, and I was the Whip for six years, and then I became the Leader for five years, you know, so I had quite a nice career."

In November 2004, the House Archives began interviewing former Representatives of the Pennsylvania House. Many of the interviews contain a common thread of similarly shared experiences, such as budget battles, serving on committees, or the legislative process. The interviewees also share personal reflections, unique experiences, and considerations that went into prime sponsored legislation.

The interviews follow a biographical format, beginning with the subject's family background, education, and pre-House work experience. The interview also covers the topics of campaigns, inter-personal relationships, legislative career highlights, and insights to Representatives' post-House careers. Transcripts of the interviews are deposited in the House Archives. To participate, please contact the Oral History Coordinator at 717-783-3866.

Click one of the links below, or scroll down, to see a list of members who have participated in an interview.

A-D | E-L | M-R | S-Z | All

List of Oral History Project interviewees as of November, 2016:

William F. Adolph, Jr.

(R) 1989-2016, 165th District, Delaware County

Robert Allen

(R), 1988-2006, 125th District, Berks, Northumberland and Schuylkill Counties

Ryan Aument

(R) 2011-2014, 41st District, Lancaster County

Robb Austin

(D), 1979-1980, 39th District, Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties

Roy Baldwin

(R), 2003-2006, 97th District, Lancaster County

Ellen M. Bard

(R), 1995-2004, 153rd District, Montgomery County

John Barley

(R), 1985-2002, 100th District, Lancaster County

Bob Bastian

(R), 1999-2008, 140th District, Bedford and Somerset Counties

Joseph W. Battisto

(D), 1983-2000, 189th District, Monroe County

Linda Bebko-Jones

(D), 1993-2006, 1st District, Erie County

Daniel E. Beren

(R), 1967-1976, 153rd District, Montgomery County

Milton Berkes

(D), 1967-1974, 140th District, Bucks County

Karen D. Beyer

(R), 2005-2010, 131st District, Lehigh and Northampton Counties

Jerry Birmelin

(R), 1985-2006, 139th District, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna and Wayne Counties

Thomas Blackwell, IV

(D), 2005-2008, 190th District, Philadelphia County

Kenneth E. Brandt

(R), 1973-1999, 98th District, Lancaster County

John Broujos

(D), 1983-1992, 199th District, Adams, Cumberland, and York Counties

Raymond Bunt, Jr.

(R), 1983-2006, 147th District, Montgomery County

Edward Burns

(R), 1973-1990, 18th District, Bucks County

Robert J. Butera

(R), 1963-1977, 150th District, Montgomery County

Alan Butkovitz   Transcript 1 , Transcript 2

(D), 1991-2004, 174th District, Philadelphia County

Michael E. Cassidy

(D), 1977-1978, 80th District, Blair County

Gaynor Cawley

(D), 1981-2006, 113th District, Lackawanna County

Richard J. Cessar

(R), 1971-1994, 30th District, Allegheny County

Paul Clymer

(R), 1981-2014, 45th District, Bucks County

Lita I. Cohen

(R), 1993-2002, 148th District, Montgomery County

Mark B. Cohen  

(D) 1974-2016, 202nd District, Philadelphia County

Jeffrey Coleman

(R), 2001-2004, 60th District, Armstrong and Indiana Counties

Joe Conti

(R), 1993-1997, 143rd District, Bucks County

Jacqueline Crahalla

(R), 2003-2006, 150th District, Montgomery County

Lawrence Curry

(D), 1993-2012, 154th District, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties

Peter J. Daley, II  

(D) 1983-2016, 49th District, Fayette and Washington Counties

H. William DeWeese  

(D), 1976-2012, 50th District, Fayette, Greene and Washington Counties

Lee A. Donaldson, Jr.

(R), 1955-1970, 70th District, Allegheny County

Donald Dorr

(R), 1973-1990, 193rd District, York County

Paul Drucker

(D), 2009-2010, 157th District, Chester and Montgomery Counties

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