Bob Roggio

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This profile of a DEFEATED 2008 U.S. House candidate for Pennsylvania's district 6 is part of the "Wiki the Vote" project.
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Bob Roggio was the Democratic candidate for the 6th Congressional District of Pennsylvania

Bob Roggio was the Democratic candidate in the 2008 congressional elections for the 6th Congressional District (map) of Pennsylvania against Republican incumbent Jim Gerlach. Roggio ran unopposed in the primary, which took place on April 22, 2008, after three democratic opponents dropped out of the race.[1] Roggio lost the November general election to Gerlach.[2]



Education and Career

Bob Roggio worked for 30 years at Zenith Products Corporation, a manufacturing company specializing in bathroom storage and organizational products. He rose to the position of Senior Vice President and was a principal partner in the company for seven years. He retired from the company following its acquisition by the Masco Corporation. Following his retirement from Zenith, Roggio returned to college and earned a B.A. in American Studies from Pennsylvania State University, graduating with high distinction in 2003.


Bob and his wife Jeannie have lived in Chester County, PA for more than 30 years. Bob married Jeannie on September 7, 1972. They have one son, Dax; two daughters, Lia (married to Lex Smith) and Kate (married to André Buck); and two granddaughters, Ani and Kaia Smith.

Political Career

In 2004, Roggio worked on Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign, serving as the Philadelphia volunteer coordinator.[3] In 2006, he worked on Senator Bob Casey’s senatorial campaign, serving as the Suburban Philadelphia Coordinator. Following Senator Casey’s victory, Bob Roggio worked on Casey’s staff as his field representative for Southeastern Pennsylvania.

2008 Election

Primary Election

On January 9, 2008, Roggio announced his plans to challenge Republican incumbent Congressman Jim Gerlach in the 6th district.[4] On January 26, 2008, the Chester County Democrats endorsed Roggio for the Democratic nomination by a wide margin. Roggio received 88 of 111 votes.[5] On February 21, 2008, Roggio was endorsed by the Montgomery County Democratic Committee, capturing 59 of 76 votes.[6] Soon after this event, Roggio's two remaining opponents in the Democratic primary, attorney Robert Rovner and developer Mike Leibowitz, withdrew from the race.[7] Roggio ran unopposed in the primary, which took place on April 28, 2008. He received 100% of the vote with 81,549 votes.[8]

General Election

Roggio lost his general election challenge to incumbent Rep. Jim Gerlach (R) on November 4, 2008.[2]

Gerlach had survived three tight elections, one against the son of a former US Senator, Dan Wofford in 2002, and two against attorney Lois Murphy in 2004 and 2006. In the 2006 election, Gerlach defeated Murphy by about 1.2% of the vote.

Roggio did not have the funding that Murphy had when waging her last campaign, which could make his struggle more difficult. However, Gerlach was facing a tough environment for Republicans. Democrats outnumbered Republicans in the district for the first time in history.[9]

Roggio gained traction after Gerlach voted against the first bailout bill. Roggio described Gerlach's actions as "derelict" and "lacking courage."[10] Gerlach voted for the second version of the bill.

Roggio tied Jim Gerlach to George Walker Bush, citing statistics that show Gerlach only breaking ranks with a majority of his Republican colleagues 16.2% of the time [11] and that he has voted with Bush 100% of the time on Iraq. Gerlach counters that he has been rated "one of the most independent voices in Congress."

Roggio also attacked Gerlach's ethics record with television advertisements that state that Gerlach received "the largest Fine ever for a Pennsylvania member of Congress" for misrepresenting over $2 million in campaign donations. [12]

Roggio received national attention when he was included in Michael Moore's book, Mike's Election Guide 2008. Roggio was the only Pennsylvania challenger to be included among the "30 House Seats the Dems Can Win." [13]

Major Endorsements

Roggio has been endorsed by The Morning Call. The newspaper stated that, "Mr. Gerlach hasn't been a bad legislator, but with three terms under his belt he should have a more distinguished record. He pretty much votes with party leaders, and up to 2007, voted with the White House almost 70 percent of the time. Mr. Roggio would be a big change...." [14]

Roggio has also been expressly endorsed by Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama [15]

Other major groups to endorse Roggio include NARAL Pro-Choice America [16] and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. [17]

Money in politics

Information on this candidate's 2008 fundraising is not yet available. Stay tuned for live feeds of data from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.


Official Bob Roggio for Congress web site

Bob Roggio for Congress Committee
9 Old Lincoln Hwy
Suite 101
Malvern, PA 19355

Phone: 610-251-0550

Articles and resources

See also


  1. Pennsylvania Department of State
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Pennsylvania 2008 General Election",, November 4, 2008
  3. Kerry General Election Pennsylvania Campaign Organization
  6. Montco Democrats endorse Roggio for Congress | Philadelphia Inquirer | 02/21/2008
  7. The Bulletin - Philadelphia's Family Newspaper - Roggio Tabbed As Democratic Contender Versus Gerlach
  8. Pennsylvania Department of State
  9. Gerlach in unusual position
  10. Gerlach ripped for opposing bailout
  11. Votes Database: Jim Gerlach
  12. Philadelphia Inquirer, The. 2007-04-12. Page B01.
  13. Moore, M. (2008). Mike's Election Guide 2008. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0-446-54627-0
  14. Roggio in 6th District
  15. Obama endorses Roggio
  16. Bob Roggio (D)
  17. To Help Keep Dangerous Guns Away From Dangerous People, Brady Campaign Endorses Bob Roggio For Congress

External resources