Brendan Boyle

Brendan Boyle
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 13th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Allyson Schwartz
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 170th district
In office
January 6, 2009[1]  January 3, 2015
Preceded by George T. Kenney
Succeeded by Martina White
Personal details
Born Brendan Francis Boyle
(1977-02-06) February 6, 1977
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jennifer Boyle
Children 1
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
Harvard University
Religion Roman Catholic
Website Representative Brendan Boyle

Brendan Francis Boyle (born February 6, 1977) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district since January 3, 2015. The district includes parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. He was previously a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 170th District from 2009 to 2015.[2]

Early life and education

Brendan Boyle is the oldest of two sons, along with younger brother Kevin. His father, Francis, is an Irish immigrant who came to the United States in 1970 from Glencolmcille, County Donegal, and works as a maintenance worker for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). His late mother, Eileen, was the child of Irish immigrants from County Sligo; she worked as a Philadelphia School District crossing guard for over 20 years.[3]

Boyle was born and raised in the Olney neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Cardinal Dougherty High School before receiving an academic scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated with a degree in Government in 1999, completing the Hesburgh Program in Public Service. After working for several years as a consultant with the U.S. Department of Defense, including Naval Sea Systems Command, he attended graduate school at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he earned a master's degree in Public Policy.[4]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives


Boyle ran unsuccessfully for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2004 and 2006, losing both times to longtime Republican incumbent George T. Kenney. On November 4, 2008, Boyle defeated Republican Matthew Taubenberger, son of 2007 mayoral candidate Al Taubenberger, by a margin of 15,442 (59.2%) to 10,632 (40.8%) to win the election to succeed Kenney,[5] becoming the first Democrat ever elected to represent the 170th district.[4][5][6]

On November 2, 2010, Boyle won re-election, defeating Republican Marc Collazzo by a margin of 64% to 36%.[5][7]

In the 2012 election cycle, Boyle ran unopposed and was selected as Chairman of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus.[8]

Boyle ran unopposed in the 2014 election cycle and resigned his seat on January 2, 2015 prior to being sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives. He was succeed by Martina White.


As a state lawmaker, Boyle's focus was on greater educational access, healthcare and greater economic equality.

As the first member of his family to attend college, he prioritized greater access to higher education. During his first term in office, he introduced the REACH Scholarship program, which would offer tuition-free public college for qualifying Pennsylvania students.

Then state Rep. Boyle speaking at a press conference in the Pennsylvania State Capitol, June 2013.

He fought cuts to public K-12 and higher education funding, and supported greater investment in infrastructure, voting in 2013 for legislation (passed into law as Act 89) that provided the first comprehensive transportation funding overhaul in Pennsylvania in nearly 20 years, providing several billion dollars in new funds for roads, bridges and mass transit. He also founded the Eastern Montgomery County-Northeast Philadelphia Legislative Alliance, a group of local and state lawmakers who work across Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County on issues affecting both regions.

Boyle was a founding member of the LGBT Equality Caucus during his first term in office, voting in favor of legislation in 2009 prohibiting discrimination of LGBT Pennsylvanians in work, housing and other areas the only time it passed out of committee.[9] In 2014, he introduced legislation to amend Pennsylvania's hate crimes statutes to include crimes perpetrated based on sexual orientation.[4]

Boyle also introduced legislation in 2011 to make genocide education a required part of Pennsylvania public school curricula, legislation that was eventually passed into law in 2014. In 2013, he introduced legislation to expand access to school counseling services, which resulted in him being selected as recipient of the 2013 Pennsylvania School Counselor Association's "Legislator of the Year" award. In 2014, he introduced the SAFER PA Act, which required timely testing of DNA evidence kits and that backlogged and untested evidence be reported to the state. It would also require that authorities notify victims or surviving family when DNA testing is completed. The SAFER PA Act was reintroduced and signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf in 2015[10][11][12]

Committee assignments

U.S. House of Representatives



In April 2013, Boyle announced his candidacy for Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district, with the heavily Democratic leaning seat being vacated by the incumbent congressperson, Allyson Schwartz, who declined to run for reelection to make an ultimately unsuccessful run for Governor. Boyle had the support of nearly 30 labor unions across the Philadelphia region.[6]

Rep. Boyle speaking at a press conference in Philadelphia on transportation funding, October 2015.

Despite early polling showing a nearly 30 point lead for former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies in the Democratic primary, Boyle won the May 20, 2014 primary with 41% of the vote, bolstered by winning 69% of the vote in the Philadelphia portion of the district. He went on to win the seat in the general election on November 4, 2014, defeating Republican Carson "Dee" Adcock with 67% of the vote.[13][14]


As a member of Congress, Boyle has prioritized legislative measures to address national income inequality, while expanding access to healthcare and education. He has supported legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $12.00 an hour, as well as measures to revise the way Social Security benefits are calculated to protect seniors from seeing their benefits reduced over time.

Boyle has been outspoken about the need to protect American jobs. After Mondelez International announced that it would close a Philadelphia factory, Boyle he announced his support for the Oreo Boycott by appearing with a poster featuring an Oreo cookie red circle and line through it, accompanied by the message, “Say no to Oreo,” [15][16] After highlighting the American layoffs, Boyle also congratulated CEO Rosenfeld on her pay increase.[15][16]

Committee Assignments

Personal life

Brendan is married to Jennifer, a Montgomery County public school teacher; the couple has one child and resides in the Somerton neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia.

His brother Kevin J. Boyle serves as a representative of Pennsylvania's 172nd House district, having been elected in 2010 by defeating former Speaker of the House John M. Perzel.[17] Brendan and Kevin were the first brothers to serve simultaneously in the Pennsylvania House.[18]

Boyle also serves as a part-time faculty member at Drexel University's Center for Public Policy, teaching courses in policy and campaign management.[19]

Awards and honors

In August 2008, Boyle was named "one of top 10 rising stars" in politics by the Philadelphia Daily News.[20]

In 2011, the Aspen Institute chose Boyle as one of its Rodel Fellows,[21] a program that "seeks to enhance our democracy by identifying and bringing together the nation's most promising young political leaders."[22]

In 2013, Boyle was selected as the Pennsylvania School Counselor Association's "Legislator of the Year" award for his introduction of legislation to expand school counselor access in Pennsylvania.


  1. "SESSION OF 2009 - 193D OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - No. 1" (PDF). Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. January 6, 2009. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  2. "Rep. Brendan Boyle". PA House of Representatives Official Website. PA House of Representatives. Retrieved 29 January 2015. Rep. Brendan Boyle resigned his PA House District 170 seat to serve as a member of the U.S. Congress.
  3. "Brendan Boyle, son of Donegal emigrant, wins seat in Congress". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  4. 1 2 3 Brendan Boyle biodata,; accessed November 9, 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 Pennsylvania election returns (2008); accessed November 9, 2014.
  6. 1 2 Joe Shaheeli (May 30, 2013). "Pols on the Street: Brendan Boyle Says He's In!". The Philadelphia Public Record. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  7. Pennsylvania election returns (2010; accessed November 9, 2014.
  8. Keegan Gibson (June 21, 2011). "Exclusive: Boyle to Chair HDCC". PoliticsPA. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  9. "House Committee Roll Call Votes - 2009 RCS# 88". The official website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  10. "Bill Information - House Bill 2396; Regular Session 2011-2012". The official website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  11. "Bill Information - House Bill 1844; Regular Session 2013-2014". The official website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  12. "House passes Boyle evidence registry bill | Broad Street Media". Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  13. Representative Brendan Boyle profile Pennsylvania House of Representatives official website; accessed November 9, 2014.
  14. 1 2 Northeast Times Staff (July 15, 2015). "Boyle calls for Nabisco boycott". Northeast Times. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  15. 1 2 Joseph N. DiStefano (August 12, 2015). "Oreo sees support, but also backlash and boycott, for gay pride rainbow cookie". Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  16. Catherine Lucey (November 3, 2010). "Kevin Boyle trips Perzel for Pa. House seat".
  17. Monica Yant Kinney (November 14, 2010). "Philadelphia's Brothers Boyle: Outsiders who made it in". Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  18. "Hon. Brendan Boyle - College of Arts and Sciences". College of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  19. "Here are 10 under 40 who are moving into position". August 4, 2008.
  20. "Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship Class of 2011". The Aspen Institute. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  21. "The Aspen Institute Selects "Rising Stars" in Governance for its Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership Program". Retrieved November 9, 2014.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Allyson Schwartz
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district

January 3, 2015  present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Bost
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Ken Buck
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