Senator Arlen Specter has always put Pennsylvania above politics. As the first five-term U.S. Senator in Pennsylvania history, Specter has maintained a strong record of tackling tough issues and working to forge bipartisan solutions to our country’s most difficult problems.
In 2006 Time Magazine named him one of “America’s 10 Best Senators,” and a 2007 Philadelphia Inquirer editorial boasted, “Senator Arlen Specter has more clout than some sovereign nations.”
Elected to the Senate in 1980, Senator Specter has worked tirelessly to find solutions to the problems that Pennsylvania's families face every day. In February, Senator Specter cast the deciding vote in support of President Obama's economic stimulus plan. The stimulus bill will provide billions of dollars for investments in Pennsylvania's economy and infrastructure -- and will create more than 140,000 new jobs here.
Senator Specter has always taken action to protect the most vulnerable in our society and has consistently stood up for ordinary citizens. Specter has received praise for his support of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, his vote in support of Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), his continual support for increasing the minimum wage, his advocacy for medical research and support for our veterans and his relentless efforts to improve occupational safety.
Senator Specter is long known for his accessibility and for his extensive travels throughout Pennsylvania, regularly visiting all 67 counties.
Born to immigrant parents in Kansas, Specter grew up in a small town where he worked loading scrap iron in his father’s junkyard. His boyhood there instilled in him an appreciation for the value of hard work and an attitude of rugged individualism. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and later a law degree from Yale, Specter enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served stateside during the Korean War. Senator Specter began his career in public service as an assistant district attorney, and later was elected District Attorney of Philadelphia.