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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:

Edward Early

(D), 1971-1974, 29th District, Allegheny County

William H. Eckensberger, Jr.  

(D), 1965-1976, 2nd and 133rd District, Lehigh County

C. Allan Egolf

(R), 1993-2004, 86th District, Cumberland, Franklin and Perry Counties

Dwight Evans

(D) 1981-2016, 203rd District, Philadelphia County

D. Michael Fisher

(R), 1975-1980, 40th District, Allegheny County

Robert J. Flick

(R), 1983-2006, 167th District, Chester and Delaware Counties

Richard Geist

(R), 1979-2012, 79th District, Blair County

Camille 'Bud' George

(D), 1975-2012, 74th District, Centre and Clearfield Counties

Mauree A. Gingrich  

(R), 2003-2016, 101st District, Lebanon County

Francis Gleeson, Jr.

(D), 1969-1979, 172nd District, Philadelphia County

Stewart Greenleaf II

(R), 1977-1978, 152nd District, Bucks and Montgomery Counties

James D. Greenwood

(R), 1981-1986, 143rd District, Bucks County

Michael C. Gruitza

(D), 1981-2006, 7th District, Mercer County

George Hasay  

(R), 1973-2006, 117th District, Columbia, Luzerne and Wyoming Counties

Dr. George K. Haudenshield

(R), 1959-1970, 43rd District, Allegheny County

Samuel E. Hayes, Jr.

(R), 1971-1992, 81st District, Blair, Centre and Huntingdon Counties

Lynn Herman

(R), 1983-2006, 77th District, Centre and Clearfield Counties

Arthur D. Hershey

(R), 1983-2008, 13th District, Chester and Lancaster Counties

John Hornaman

(D), 2007-2012, 3rd District, Erie County

Mike J. Horsey

(D), 1995-2004, 190th District, Philadelphia County

Harold James

(D), 1989-2008 and 2012, 186th District, Philadelphia County

Babette Josephs

(D), 1985-2012, 182nd District, Philadelphia County

Richard Kasunic

(D), 1983-1994, 52nd District, Fayette and Westmoreland Counties

James B. Kelly, III

(R), 1971-1976, 28th District, Allegheny County

George Kenney

(R), 1984-2008, 170th District, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties

Thaddeus Kirkland  

(D) 1993-2016, 159th District. Delaware County

Allen G. Kukovich

(D), 1977-1996, 56th District, Westmoreland County

Franklin L. Kury

(D), 1967-1972, 108th District, Northumberland and Montour Counties

Susan B. Laughlin

(D), 1989-2004, 16th District, Allegheny and Beaver Counties

Daylin Leach

(D), 2003-2008, 149th District, Montgomery County

Austin Lee

(R), 1957-1964, 14th District, Philadelphia County

Kenneth B. Lee

(R), 1957-1974, 111th District, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties

Dennis Leh

(R), 1987-2006, 130th District, Berks County

Victor J. Lescovitz

(D), 1980-2006, 46th District, Allegheny, Beaver and Washington Counties

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