Robert leads Obermayer’s government affairs practice in Harrisburg Pennsylvania.
Prior to joining Obermayer, Robert served eight terms (1975-2006) representing the 30th District in the Pennsylvania State Senate, which includes all of Bedford, Blair, Fulton and Huntingdon Counties and Menno Township in Mifflin County. Robert served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate for nearly 21 years, which currently stands as the longest time any member has served in this role. Before ascending to President Pro Tempore, he twice served as the Republican Floor Leader. In 2001, he was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor when then-Governor Tom Ridge resigned to serve as Director of Homeland Security and Lieutenant Governor, Mark Schweiker, was sworn in as Governor. He held that office with its additional responsibilities until January 2003.
During his tenure in the Pennsylvania State Senate, Robert provided leadership on major issues such as economic development, transportation improvements, job creation, open government, education reform and property tax relief. He sponsored legislation creating Pennsylvania’s Tuition Account Program and the state’s Sunshine Law, and led the fight for major child protection measures known as “Ashley’s Law.”
Robert was a driving force in securing state funding for key economic, community, and cultural projects, highlighted by the Blair County Ballpark, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates Double-A affiliate the Altoona Curve, the Blair County Convention Center and restoration of the historic Bedford Springs Hotel. His leadership has earned recognition and awards including:
- Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association;
- National Federation of Independent Business;
- Blair County Chapter of the NAACP;
- Pennsylvania Bar Association’s President’s Award;
- Common Cause Champion of Good Government Award;
- Dickinson School of Law Career Achievement Award; and
- The Pennsylvania State University Distinguished Alumni and Alumni Fellow Award.
Robert remains involved in numerous community and civic activities. He currently serves as a Pennsylvania Cable Network Contributor on State Government and mentors Penn State University Students from the Schreyer Honors College.