Member Biography

James W. "Jim" Gerlach 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1995       44 Republican
1996       44 Republican
1997       44 Republican
1998       44 Republican
1999       44 Republican
2000       44 Republican
2001       44 Republican
2002       44 Republican


02/25/1955 -

James W. “Jim” Gerlach (R44) Berks (Part), Chester (Part), Lehigh (Part), and Montgomery (Part) Counties 1995-2002

Early Life:

James W. “Jim” Gerlach, born February 25, 1955, Ellwood City, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania; son of Jack A. and Helen Fitzgerald Gerlach; Lincoln High School, 1973; Sigma Chi fraternity, cum laude, Dickinson College (B.A. Political Science), 1977; Dickinson School of Law (J.D.), 1980; legislative aide, Pennsylvania State Senate, Republican Caucus, Pennsylvania State Senate; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1991-1994; not a candidate for reelection, 1995 term; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1995-2002; appointed, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, 1995-2000; alternate delegate, Republican National Convention (2000); elected, United States Congress, 2003-2015; elected, delegate, Republican National Convention, 2004, 2008, 2012; government affairs, Venable, LLP, 2014-2015; president, chief executive officer, Business-Industrial Political Action Committee, 2015-2020; president, chief executive officer, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, 2020-present; married Karen Devanna; three children. 

Early Career:

Attorney; Butler, Pennsylvania law firm, Lindsey and Lutz; attorney, Lamb, Windle and McErlane, Professional Corporation (PC) West Chester, Pennsylvania, senior partner, Chester County Republican Chairman William Lamb.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Unsuccessful campaign, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, Frank LaGrotta, 1986. 

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 155th district, 1991-1994; defeated, Sam Morris, 23 votes out of 17,000 cast.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1995; committee assignments, Appropriations, Judiciary, Labor and Industry (Vice Chairman), Local Government (Chairman), Public Health and Welfare Commission, Pennsylvania Committee on Crime and Delinquency; left office, November 30, 2002. 

Alternate Delegate, Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2000.

Continued Government Service/National Politics: 

Elected, Republican, United States House of Representatives, Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district, “Pterodactyl District", 108th-113th congresses,  2003-2015; Committee assignments, Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Oversight, Subcommittee on Health, Caucus memberships, Congressional COPD Caucus, German-American Caucus – Gerlach co-founded the Caucus with Rep. Tim Holden (D-Pennsylvania) House Land Conservation Caucus, House Land Trust Caucus, House Ukraine Caucus, International Conservation Caucus, Congressional Arts Caucus, Small Brewer Caucus, Congressional Cement Caucus; not a candidate for reelection, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, 2014.

Delegate, Republication National Convention, New York City, New York, 2004. 

Delegate, Republican National Convention, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2008.

Delegate, Republican National Convention, Tampa, Florida, 2012.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:

Official Website - PA House Archives Official Website (


Father was killed by a drunk driver, 1960.


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members "G""Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

The Pennsylvania Manual, (1999). Crowell, G.; Secretary, Department of General Services. (Volume 114) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 3-37, 3-41; Biographies of Members of the Senate, page 3-15.

Congressional Biography

After 8 session(s) serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, James W. "Jim" Gerlach  went on to serve in congress