Jesse Topper

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Jesse Topper
Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 78
In office
February 10, 2014-present
Term ends
November 31, 2016
Years in position 1
Base salary$84,012/year
Per diem$157/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedJanuary 28, 2014
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sFrostburg State University
ProfessionExecutive Minister
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Jesse Topper is a Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing District 78. He was first elected to the chamber in a special election on January 28, 2014.[1]


Topper earned his B.A. in Music Performance from Frostburg State University. His professional experience includes working as a minister.[2]

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Topper served on the following committees:

Pennsylvania Committee Assignments, 2015
State Government
Tourism & Recreational Development


At the beginning of the 2014 legislative session, Topper served on the following committees:


Campaign themes


Topper's campaign website highlighted the following issues:[3]

Control Government Spending

  • Excerpt: "As he did on Bedford’s Borough Council and as he does in his own home, Jesse uses strong fiscal discipline and commonsense to create and stick to budgets. In Harrisburg, he will do the same – to build on the strong fiscal controls that have been used during recent budgets."

Stop Spending Money We Don’t Have

  • Excerpt: "Over the last three years, the Governor and the Legislature began rolling back former Governor Ed Rendell’s out-of-control spending in Harrisburg that wasted millions of taxpayer dollars that we just could not afford. Jesse believes we must continue to force government to do more with less like we are doing in our homes and businesses."

Focus on Priorities

  • Excerpt: "The first step to saving tax dollars is to set real priorities. That’s why Jesse will focus the state budget on priorities like job creation, public safety and educating our children. He will make protecting taxpayers the number one priority in all budget negotiations."

Cut Wasteful and Outdated Programs

  • Excerpt: "Our national and state governments have grown so large by adding new programs, but never eliminating them when they no longer make sense. Jesse will bring a new prospective to the process and will review the budget line-by-line to see what works, what doesn’t and what can be ended. He will start with recommendations that have been proposed by the State Auditor General’s office, but not acted on yet."

More Jobs and A Stronger Economy

  • Excerpt: "Jesse knows nothing is more important to our families than being able to secure good-paying jobs. That’s why he will make economic growth and job creation his top priority in Harrisburg – and use his experience with the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce to make sure it happens."



General election

See also: Pennsylvania House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Pennsylvania House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on May 20, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 11, 2014. Incumbent Jesse Topper defeated Josh Lang in the Republican primary. Topper was unchallenged in the general election.[4][5][6]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 78 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJesse Topper Incumbent 73.3% 5,060
Josh Lang 26.7% 1,846
Total Votes 6,906

Special election

See also: Pennsylvania state legislative special elections, 2014

Jesse Topper (R) defeated Barbara L. Barron (D) in the special election, which took place on January 28, 2014.[1][7][8]

The seat was vacant following Dick Hess's (R) death on September 6, 2013.

A special election for the position of Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 78 was called for January 28. Candidates were nominated by their party rather than chosen through a primary. The nominating deadline for parties was December 9, 2013.[9]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 78, Special Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJesse Topper 83.3% 4,629
     Democratic Barbara L. Barron 16.7% 925
Total Votes 5,554


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Pennsylvania

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Pennsylvania scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2013, the Pennsylvania General Assembly was in session from January 2 to December 31. In 2014, the Pennsylvania General Assembly was in session from January 7 through November 12.

  • Legislators were scored on their votes on key conservative issues.
  • Legislators were scored on their support for legislation related to LGBT equality.


Topper and his wife, Christy, have two sons.[2]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Dick Hess (R)
Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 78
February 10, 2014–present
Succeeded by