Pat Toomey grew up in a blue-collar working class family in East Providence, RI, the third of six children. He learned the value of hard work from his parents. His father, a former U.S. Marine, worked for the local electric utility installing underground electrical cable, often taking extra shifts to earn overtime pay, while his mother worked part-time as a secretary at their parish church.
At an early age, Pat displayed a knack for business, starting his own lawn mowing business at the young age of ten. With his homemade business cards in hand, Pat knocked on his neighbor’s doors, offering his services.
Pat earned an academic scholarship to La Salle Academy, an all-boys Catholic high school in Providence, RI. After graduating as Valedictorian in 1980, Pat went to Harvard University where he earned a bachelor’s degree, graduating cum laude, in political science.
A summer internship in the financial services industry in New York City sparked Pat’s interest in the business world. After graduating from college, Pat went to work for Chemical Bank and subsequently for Morgan Grenfell where he arranged and traded interest rate and currency swaps to help businesses manage risk. In 1990, Pat left New York City for a one-year stint as a financial consultant in Hong Kong, performing financial research on capital markets.
After six years in New York City, Pat was ready for a change, and he found it in Allentown, PA. In 1991, Pat moved to Allentown, where he started a small restaurant business with his two brothers, Steve and Michael Toomey.
Over seven years, Toomey Enterprises grew to include two restaurants in Allentown and one in Lancaster County. The restaurants, called Rookie’s, were casual-dining, sports-themed establishments where patrons could enjoy a great meal while watching their favorite teams play anywhere in the country.
As a small business owner, Pat helped create hundreds of jobs in Pennsylvania and learned about the challenges that small business owners all across the state face. It was also during this time that Pat first got involved in government, running for a seat on Allentown’s Government Study Commission in 1994. As a member of the commission, Pat established his credentials as a fiscal conservative, pushing for rules that would make it harder for the city to raise taxes on its residents.
In 1998, Pat ran for the open congressional seat in Pennsylvania’s Fifteenth Congressional District. Considered an underdog in the primary and the general election, Pat ran on a term-limits pledge and a platform of pro-growth tax cuts and fiscal discipline. He won on that message and went on to win two more terms in 2000 and 2002.
During his time in the House of Representatives, Pat distinguished himself as a fiscal expert, who, according to the Allentown Morning Call, “put his principles ahead of party-line obedience.” Pat famously took on Congressional leadership when they were spending too much money, sponsored legislation to protect Social Security from Washington big spenders, fought to reduce the deficit, and was a leader in eliminating wasteful earmark spending. His dedication to limited government and cutting taxes earned Pat recognition from the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Americans for Tax Reform, the National Taxpayers Union, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In fulfillment of his three-term pledge, Pat announced his retirement from the House of Representative in 2004, and launched a close but ultimately unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate.
In 2005, Pat became the President of the limited-government, free-enterprise organization, the Club for Growth, where he advocated policies that would create prosperity and jobs for all Americans. As a leading voice in Washington, Pat opposed the 2008 taxpayer-funded bailouts from the very beginning and was a consistent voice of fiscal discipline in a time of out-of-control spending and staggering deficits.
Also in 2005, Pat helped launch a very successful community bank called Team Capital Bank, serving consumers and small businesses in eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey. Pat served as co-chairman of the board of directors from the inception of the bank until he announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
In 2010, Pat was elected to the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania on a platform of limited government and support for free enterprise. In the U.S. Senate, Pat will fight for fiscally responsible and pro-growth policies that will create private-sector jobs in Pennsylvania, protect taxpayers, and restore fiscal discipline to Washington.
Pat lives in Zionsville, PA with his wife Kris and their three children, Bridget, Patrick, and Duncan.
Alphabetical Listing of Senators