Judy Schwank

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Judy Schwank
Pennsylvania State Senate District 11
In office
Term ends
December 1, 2016
Years in position 4
Base salary$84,012/year
Per diem$157/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedMarch 15, 2011
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Master'sPenn State University, 1982
Office website
Judy L. Schwank is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, representing District 11. She was first elected to the chamber after winning a special election on March 15, 2011. Schwank filled the vacancy created when Michael O'Pake (D) passed away due to complications arising from a heart bypass operation.[1]


Schwank earned her B.S. and M.Ed. in Agricultural Education from Pennsylvania State University.

Her professional experience includes the following positions: Schwank is a former Berks County Commissioner and the former director of the Berks County Cooperative Extension Program and President of 10,000 Friends, promoting sustainability and agriculture. Schwank also serves as a member of the Girl Scouts of Southeast PA Board of Directors and as chair the Pennsylvania State Planning Board. She is currently the Dean of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Delaware Valley College.[2]

In June 2011, Governing Magazine named Schwank one of 12 "Democratic Legislators to Watch." Each of the legislators was selected on the basis of qualities such as leadership, ambition, and political potential.[3]

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

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

Pennsylvania Committee Assignments, 2015
Agriculture & Rural Affairs, Minority Chair
Aging & Youth
Public Health & Welfare
State Government


In the 2013-2014 legislative session, Schwank served on the following committees:


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Schwank served on these committees:


Shrinking the PA General Assembly

Schwank has proposed Senate Bill 336, a bill that would reduce the size of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Her bill would cut the size of the Senate from 50 members to 40 members, and the House from 203 members to 121 members. SB 336 is similar to other bills that have been proposed by Pennsylvania lawmakers during this year to cut the size of the General Assembly. Samuel Smith (R), the Pennsylvania Speaker of the House, recently proposed a bill that would reduce members in the Senate from 50 to 38 and in the House from 203 to 153. In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Smith introduced a bill to shrink the number of representatives, but the bill failed to gain the necessary support because Smith's colleagues wanted to add reductions to the Senate as well. Schwank said on SB 336 that, "What’s clear is Pennsylvania taxpayers want a leaner, faster and more effective governing body that’s much less expensive." Currently the state House is the second largest in the country, behind only the New Hampshire House of Representatives. A reduction in the size of the General Assembly will require approval by both chambers during the same legislative session and by voters on a ballot referendum.[4][5][6][7]

Campaign themes


Schwank's 2011 special election Judy's Schwank's website emphasized several policy positions and campaign themes:

  • Jobs: "Working with business and community leaders, she was instrumental in the development of the Berks Economic Partnership, which has created or retained over 6,000 jobs in Berks County."
  • Lower Property Taxes: "She knows that we must find a better way to fund government and education than by relying on our property taxes."
  • Cutting Red Tape: "She understands that reform in Harrisburg will revive and strengthen Pennsylvania's economy."
  • Experience: "She worked with Senator O'Pake to protect our Berks County values and way of life."
  • Agriculture: "She led the efforts to protect Berks County's agricultural base and increase the economic viability of our farms."
  • Community: "She has served Berks County in the public and non-profit sectors her entire career, working to create good-paying, permanent jobs right here."



See also: Pennsylvania State Senate elections, 2012

Schwank ran in the 2012 election for Pennsylvania Senate District 11. Schwank ran unchallenged in the April 24 primary and defeated Karen Mogel in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012. [8][9]

Pennsylvania State Senate, District 11, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJudy Schwank Incumbent 64.4% 63,796
     Republican Karen Mogel 35.6% 35,318
Total Votes 99,114


See also: State legislative special elections, 2011

Schwank defeated Larry Medaglia (R) in the March 15, 2011, special election.[10]

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Judy Schwank is available dating back to 2011. Based on available campaign finance records, Judy Schwank raised a total of $286,236 during that time period. This information was last updated on September 6, 2013.[11]

Judy Schwank's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Pennsylvania State Senate, District 11 Won $93,407
2011 Pennsylvania State Senate Special elections, District 11 Won $192,829
Grand Total Raised $286,236


Judy Schwank won re-election to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Judy Schwank raised a total of $93,407.


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 scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

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.


In 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly was in session from January 4 through November 30. In 2012, the Pennsylvania General Assembly began its legislative session on January 3.

  • Legislators were scored on their votes on key conservative issues.
  • Legislators were scored on their votes on key small business issues.
  • Legislators were scored based on floor votes that highlighted environmental issues.


Schwank is married to her husband Jim. They have three children.[2]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Michael O'Pake
Pennsylvania State Senate District 11
Succeeded by