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Brendan Boyle
Brendan Boyle - 2018-05-21 ec 0004.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byAllyson Schwartz
Constituency13th district (2015–2019)
2nd district (2019–present)
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 170th district
In office
January 6, 2009 – January 3, 2015
Preceded byGeorge T. Kenney
Succeeded byMartina White
Personal details
Brendan Francis Boyle

(1977-02-06) February 6, 1977 (age 43)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jennifer Boyle
EducationUniversity of Notre Dame (BA)
Harvard University (MPP)
WebsiteHouse website

Brendan Francis Boyle (born February 6, 1977) is an American politician serving as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing a district in the Philadelphia area since 2015. He represented the 13th district from 2015 to 2019, serving much of northeastern Philadelphia and most of suburban Montgomery County. Since 2019, he has represented the 2nd district, which includes most of the northeastern fourth of Philadelphia. He was previously a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 170th district from 2009 to 2015.[1][2]

Early life and education

Boyle is the elder of two sons. His father, Francis, is an Irish immigrant who came to the United States in 1970 from Glencolmcille, County Donegal, and works as a janitor 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 succeeded 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.
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

  • Appropriations
  • Insurance
  • Labor Relations
  • Liquor Control
  • Policy

U.S. House of Representatives



In April 2013, Boyle announced his candidacy for Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district, which stretched from Montgomery County to northeast Philadelphia. The incumbent five-term Democrat, Allyson Schwartz, gave up the seat to 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.
Rep. Boyle speaking at a press conference in Philadelphia on transportation funding, October 2015.

In the 2014 Democratic primary, Boyle beat former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies.[13] 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.[14][15]


No Republican or other party candidate filed to run against Boyle in 2016, so he was re-elected unopposed.


The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania imposed a new map for Pennsylvania's congressional districts in February 2018.[16] Boyle then announced that he would run for re-election in the new 2nd district.[17] That district had previously been the 1st district, represented by retiring fellow Democrat Bob Brady. However, the new 2nd absorbed all of the Philadelphia portion of the old 13th, including Boyle's home.[18] PoliticsPA rated Boyle's district as not vulnerable (a safe seat).[19]


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 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," [20][21] After highlighting the American layoffs, Boyle noted that CEO Rosenfeld received a pay increase.[20][21]

Boyle filed the Standardizing Testing and Accountability Before Large Elections Giving Electors Necessary Information for Unobstructed Selection Act, or shortened to the acronym Stable Genius Act, in 2018. The measure would imply "nominees of each political party to file a report with the Federal Election Commission certifying that he or she underwent a medical exam by the Secretary of the Navy" - containing the exam's results.[22][23]

Boyle is also the sponsor of H.R. 6094: To prohibit lifting of United States sanctions imposed with respect to North Korea.[24]

Between January 2015 and September 2018, he missed 119 of 2,434 roll call votes in the House, which is 4.9%. The median is 2.4% among the lifetime records of Representatives currently in office.[25]

On education, he joined other Members of Congress to urge House leaders to get federal money to Philadelphia's ailing schools.[26]

Boyle was selected as one of seventeen speakers to jointly deliver the keynote address at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.[27]


Boyle has received the following ratings from advocacy organizations:[25]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Brendan is married to Jennifer, a Montgomery County public school teacher; the couple have one child and reside 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.[30] Brendan and Kevin were the first brothers to serve simultaneously in the Pennsylvania House.[31]

Boyle also serves as a part-time faculty member at Drexel University's Center for Public Policy, teaching courses in policy and campaign management.[32]

Awards and honors

In August 2008, Boyle was named "one of top 10 rising stars" in politics by the Philadelphia Daily News.[33]

In 2011, the Aspen Institute chose Boyle as one of its Rodel Fellows,[34] a program that "seeks to enhance our democracy by identifying and bringing together the nation's most promising young political leaders."[35]

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 January 29, 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 December 5, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Brendan Boyle biodata,; accessed November 9, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Pennsylvania election returns Archived December 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine (2008); accessed November 9, 2014.
  6. ^ a b 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 Department of State, 2010 General Election". November 2, 2010. Archived from the original on November 6, 2010. Retrieved 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 December 5, 2015.
  10. ^ "Bill Information - House Bill 2396; Regular Session 2011-2012". Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  11. ^ "Bill Information - House Bill 1844; Regular Session 2013-2014". The official website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  12. ^ "House passes Boyle evidence registry bill | Broad Street Media". Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  13. ^ Rotenberg, Carl (20 May 2014). "ELECTION 2014: Boyle, Adcock the apparent winners in 13th Congressional primary election". Montgomery News. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  14. ^ Gibbons, Margaret (4 November 2014). "Boyle trounces Adcock in 13th Congressional District". Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  15. ^ "Democrat Boyle Beats Adcock For Open US House Seat". 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  16. ^ Cohn, Nate; Bloch, Matthew; Quealy, Kevin (February 19, 2018). "The New Pennsylvania Congressional Map, District by District". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  17. ^ Kopp, John (February 22, 2018). "Brendan Boyle to seek re-election in redrawn Philly congressional district". Philly Voice. Philadelphia, PA. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  18. ^ Cohn, Nate; Bloch, Matthew; Quealy, Kevin (February 19, 2018). "The New Pennsylvania House Districts Are In. We Review the Mapmakers' Choices". The Upshot. The New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  19. ^ "PoliticsPA". Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  20. ^ a b Northeast Times Staff (July 15, 2015). "Boyle calls for Nabisco boycott". Northeast Times. Archived from the original on 2016-06-04. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  21. ^ a b Joseph N. DiStefano (August 12, 2015). "Oreo sees support, but also backlash and boycott, for gay pride rainbow cookie". Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  22. ^ Olson, Laura. "Philly congressman introduces 'Stable Genius' bill after Trump mental health tweets". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  23. ^ Shabad, Rebecca. "Democratic congressman introduces "Stable Genius Act"". CBS News. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  24. ^ "To prohibit lifting of United States sanctions imposed with respect to North Korea. (H.R. 6094)". Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  25. ^ a b "Brendan Boyle, Representative for Pennsylvania's 13th Congressional District -". Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  26. ^ Tamari, Jonathan. "Philly congressmen seek federal help to fix 'unconscionable' condition of city schools". Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  27. ^ "Democrats Unveil A New Kind of Convention Keynote". 2020 Democratic National Convention. 16 August 2020. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  28. ^ "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  29. ^ "90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members". Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  30. ^ Catherine Lucey (November 3, 2010). "Kevin Boyle trips Perzel for Pa. House seat".
  31. ^ Monica Yant Kinney (November 14, 2010). "Philadelphia's Brothers Boyle: Outsiders who made it in". Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  32. ^ "Hon. Brendan Boyle - College of Arts and Sciences". College of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  33. ^ "Here are 10 under 40 who are moving into position". August 4, 2008.
  34. ^ "Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship Class of 2011". The Aspen Institute. Archived from the original on August 10, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  35. ^ "The Aspen Institute Selects "Rising Stars" in Governance for its Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership Program". Retrieved November 9, 2014.

External links

Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Preceded by
George T. Kenney
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 170th district

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

Succeeded by
John Joyce
Preceded by
Dwight Evans
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district

Party political offices
Preceded by
Elizabeth Warren
Keynote Speaker of the Democratic National Convention
Served alongside: Stacey Abrams, Raumesh Akbari, Colin Allred, Yvanna Cancela, Kathleen Clyde, Nikki Fried, Robert Garcia, Malcolm Kenyatta, Marlon Kimpson, Conor Lamb, Mari Manoogian, Victoria Neave, Jonathan Nez, Sam Park, Denny Ruprecht, Randall Woodfin
Most recent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Bost
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Ken Buck
This page was last edited on 17 September 2020, at 15:27
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