Concept

Jim Gerlach

Résumé
James William Gerlach (born February 25, 1955) is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 2003 to 2015. He is a member of the Republican Party. Gerlach retired from Congress after completing his sixth term. Gerlach was born in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania to Helen Lorraine (née Fitzgerald) and Jack Allen Gerlach. His father was killed by a drunk driver when he was five years old, leaving his mother to raise three children on her own. He graduated from Dickinson College where he became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and the Raven's Claw Honorary Society, with a B.A. in Political Science. He also earned his J.D. degree from Dickinson School of Law in 1980. During law school, Gerlach worked as a legislative aide in the Pennsylvania State Senate. In 1985, Gerlach moved back to Ellwood City and worked at the Butler law firm Lindsey & Lutz. In 1986, he challenged Frank LaGrotta in the race for state representative but lost. In 1987, he returned to Chester County to work for the Lamb, Windle & McErlane law firm in West Chester, whose senior partner was then-Chester County Republican Chairman William Lamb. On March 6, 2020, the board of directors from the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance announced that Gerlach had been named president and CEO of the organization. In preparation for the 1990 election against long time Democratic State Rep. Sam Morris, Gerlach visited 10,000 homes in the 155th District of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, building his campaign around what he saw as the incumbent's inattentiveness to suburban sprawl. According to a local newspaper, the Daily Local News, Gerlach charged that his opponent was "out of touch" with his constituency. Gerlach proposed expanding open-space preservation by using zoning laws to encourage developers to incorporate open space into development projects, along with the creation of environmental protection authorities. During the election, Gerlach's Democratic opponents accused the Western Pennsylvania native of moving to Chester County for the sole purpose of running against Morris.
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