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Robert C. Jubelirer
29th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
October 5, 2001 – January 21, 2003
Governor Mark Schweiker
Preceded by Mark Schweiker
Succeeded by Catherine Baker Knoll
President pro tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate
In office
January 1, 1985 – November 18, 1992
Preceded by Henry Hager
Succeeded by Bob Mellow
In office
March 15, 1994 – November 30, 2006
Preceded by Bob Mellow
Succeeded by Joe Scarnati
Republican Leader
of the Pennsylvania Senate
In office
January 6, 1981 – November 30, 1984
Preceded by Henry Hager
Succeeded by John Stauffer
In office
November 18, 1992 – March 15, 1994
Preceded by Joseph Loeper
Succeeded by Joseph Loeper
Member of the Pennsylvania State Senate
from the 30th district
In office
January 7, 1975 – November 30, 2006
Preceded by Stanley Stroup
Succeeded by John Eichelberger
Personal details
Born (1937-02-09) February 9, 1937 (age 85)
Altoona, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Renee Cohn Jubelirer
Children 3 (one deceased)
Residence(s) Altoona, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater Pennsylvania State University (B.A.)
Dickinson School of Law (LL.D.)
Occupation Attorney, lobbyist

Robert C. Jubelirer (born February 9, 1937, Altoona, Pennsylvania) is a Republican Pennsylvania political leader. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1975 to 2006. He served as President pro tempore of the Pennsylvania State Senate for all but two years from 1984 to 2006, and served as the 29th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania between 2001 and 2003.

Jubelirer was defeated for re-election in the 2006 Republican party primary election and left office on November 30, 2006.

Early life

The son of a prominent county judge, Jubelirer attended Pennsylvania State University and the Dickinson School of Law. He was admitted to the bar in Blair County, Pennsylvania and practiced law for several years before entering politics.

He was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1974 to represent the Altoona area. He was elected Majority Leader in 1981. Jubelirer served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate from 1985 to 1992. After serving briefly as Minority Leader from 1992 to 1994, he again became President Pro Tempore.

In a 2002 PoliticsPA Feature story designating politicians with yearbook superlatives, he was named the "Hardest Working."

Lieutenant governor

When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge resigned on October 5, 2001 to become President Bush's Homeland Security Advisor, Lt. Governor Mark Schweiker ascended to the governorship.

By provision of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1968, Jubelirer as President Pro Tempore was automatically elevated to Lt. Governor and sworn in the same day. Jubelirer's elevation to the office was not without controversy, as he retained his position in the Pennsylvania State Senate. Critics and political foes argued that this violated the separation of powers principle and threatened the checks and balances guaranteed in the state constitution.

A lawsuit was filed by State Rep. John Lawless, Joseph Wiedemer and Leechburg Area School Board member Charles A. Pascal, Jr. to block Jubelirer's simultaneous service in the Senate and the executive branch, but the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court rejected the argument and issued a per curiam decision allowing Jubelirer to hold both offices simultaneously. Jubelirer continued in both offices until January 21, 2003 when Schweiker's term expired. He declined to accept the Lt. Governor's salary during his term.

2006 primary election defeat

In May 2006, Jubelirer was defeated in the Republican primary by Blair County Commissioner John Eichelberger. He, along with Chip Brightbill, the Senate majority leader, were the first top-ranking Pennsylvania legislative leaders to lose a primary election since 1964. The defeat was attributed primarily to his role in drafting a legislative pay raise bill in July 2005.

Jubelirer initially defended the raise. However, after internal polling showed his support falling, he opened discussion of a repeal of the unvouchered expense provision. However, newspapers reported that he tried to block efforts to repeal the entire raise. In the wake of the controversy, the Senator issued a statement in which he called the pay raise a "mistake" ... I apologized for it in my district. I now think it was the wrong thing to do. Hindsight is 20-20. I'm not shifting the blame to anybody. I accept the responsibility." He pledged to return the money he had received from the unvouchered expense account.

..... Jubelirer's initial annual pension was $90,934.

Pennsylvania Senate, District 30: May 2006 Primary Election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Eichelberger 15,445 43.9
Republican Robert Jubelirer 12,662 36.0
Republican Arnold McClure 7,097 20.2

2013 Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees election

Jubelirer attempted a comeback of sorts, seeking a seat on the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees. Despite an endorsement from former Gov. Tom Ridge, Jubelirer finished a distant sixth place, failing to earn one of the three seats. He was elected to The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees in 2014.

See also

  • 2005 Pennsylvania General Assembly pay raise controversy
  • Drew Crompton
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