|Name||Peter G. Torkildsen|
Danvers, Massachusetts , United States
|| January 28, 1958
Jan 31, 2015 07:56pm
|Info||Peter Gerard Torkildsen is the Massachusetts Republican State Committee Chairman and is also a former member of the United States House of Representatives. He was a Republican from Massachusetts. |
Torkildsen was born in to a Roman Catholic family with ten children in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 28, 1958. He attended college at the University of Massachusetts 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 Nurses 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' 6th Congressional District as a Republican from 1993 until 1997.
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 two-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.
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. Anticipating that he would be removed from this position by the new Democratic Governor, Deval Patrick, and desiring lead the repair of a faltering Massachusetts Republican Party, Torkildsen announced in December 2006 that he would run in the Janaury 2007 election for State Party Chairman. Torkildsen was in fact later removed from the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board shortly after Patrick's inauguration.
However, on January 17th, 2007, Torkildsen was elected by the Massachusetts Republican State Committee with 58% of the vote to a two-year term as its new chairman. Unlike some previous chairmen, Torkildsen is taking this as a full-time job.