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Peter G. Torkildsen

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Title: Peter G. Torkildsen  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: John F. Tierney, WikiProject U.S. Congress/Cleanup listing, United States House of Representatives elections, 1994, Massachusetts Republican Party, Joseph Walsh (Massachusetts)
Collection: 1958 Births, American Roman Catholics, John F. Kennedy School of Government Alumni, Living People, Massachusetts Republican Party Chairs, Massachusetts Republicans, Members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts, People from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Republican Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Alumni
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Peter G. Torkildsen

Peter G. Torkildsen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Nicholas Mavroules
Succeeded by John F. Tierney
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from the 13th Essex District
In office
Preceded by John E. Murphy, Jr.
Succeeded by Sally Kerans
Personal details
Born Peter Gerard Torkildsen
(1958-01-28) January 28, 1958
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Gail Torkildsen
Religion Roman Catholic

Peter Gerard Torkildsen (born January 28, 1958) is a former chairman of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee and a former member of the United States House of Representatives. He currently works in the private sector. Torkildsen and colleague Peter Blute remain the last Republicans elected to serve in the United States House delegation from Massachusetts.

Life and career

Torkildsen was born into a Roman Catholic family with ten children in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 28, 1958. He attended high school at St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers, MA and then college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and then went on to the prestigious John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Before entering politics, he was a service coordinator for the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston.

Torkildsen served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1985 to 1991. From 1991 to 1992, Torklidsen was the state's Commissioner of Labor and Industries. He then went on to represent Massachusetts's 6th congressional district as a Republican for two terms, from 1993 until 1997. He had a conservative record on fiscal and social issues during his terms in the Massachusetts House and challenged then State Senator Paul Cellucci for the GOP nomination for Lt. Governor of Massachusetts in 1990 as a pro-life candidate. In Congress, he was conservative on defense spending and fiscal restraint, but was pro-choice, in particular voting against the 1996 Partial Birth Abortion Ban. During his campaign for Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party in 2007, he claimed that he had a problem with the wording of the bill as it excluded an exception for saving the mother's life, and had he been re-elected would have supported a similar bill with the exception. He also supported the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

He was narrowly defeated in the Presidential-year elections of 1996 by Democrat John F. Tierney in a state that voted overwhelmingly for Democratic President Bill Clinton in that year's Presidential election.

Tierney was part of a net eight seat Democratic gain in the House elections that year. Torkildsen challenged Tierney to a rematch in the United States House election, 1998, but Tierney won that contest as well, 55%-43%. Since his departure from Congress in 1997, there had been no Republicans in Massachusetts's congressional delegation until the 2010 United States Senate special election to fill the late Senator Edward Kennedy's seat. That election was won by Republican state senator Scott Brown.

Since leaving the House, Torklidsen has returned to working in labor and workforce related areas. From 2001 to 2003, he served as a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission. In 2003, he was the Director of Federal, State and Local Workforce Relations for the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development. Since 2004, he has been the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board. Desiring to lead the repair of a [[Massachusetts Republican

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