Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum, of Trentinese ancestry

[Disclaimer: The PAL does not, in any way, endorse political parties or candidates in the United States.]

Rick Santorum

Richard John "Rick" Santorum (born May 10, 1958) is an American Republican Party politician. He served as a United States Senator representing Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2007, and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.

Born in Virginia, Rick Santorum was raised primarily in Butler, Pennsylvania. He completed his undergraduate degree at the Pennsylvania State University, earned an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, and received his JD degree from the Dickinson School of Law. Santorum entered the legal profession, working for Kirkpatrick & Lockhart. He married Karen Garver in 1990 and they are the parents of eight children, one of whom died shortly after birth. Santorum was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on behalf of Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district in 1990, becoming a member of a group that was dubbed the "Gang of Seven". Santorum was elected as a United States Senator for Pennsylvania in 1994 and served there until losing re-election to the position in 2006.

Santorum holds socially conservative positions, including opposition to same-sex marriage and birth control. In the Senate, he voted for tax cuts and a balanced budget amendment, and played a leading role in enacting welfare reform. He also supported programs in education and transportation.

In the years following his departure from the Senate, Santorum worked as a consultant, private practice lawyer, and news contributor. In June 2011, Santorum announced that he would run for the 2012 Republican president nomination. As a presidential candidate, he has emphasized fiscal restraint and expressed hawkish views regarding Iran. Despite running in the bottom tier of candidates for several months, he won the caucuses in Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado and the Missouri primary, and quickly rose to the top of national polls.

Early life and education

Rick Santorum is the middle of the three children of Aldo Santorum (1923–2011), a clinical psychologist who immigrated to the United States at age seven from Riva del Garda, Italy, and Catherine (Dughi) Santorum (1918–), an administrative nurse of Italian American and Irish American descent.

Santorum was born in Winchester, Virginia, and grew up in Berkeley County, West Virginia and Butler County, Pennsylvania. As a Butler Area public schools student he was nicknamed "Rooster," supposedly for both for a cowlick strand of hair and an assertive nature, particularly on important political issues. After his parents transferred to the Naval Station Great Lakes in northern Illinois, Santorum attended the Roman Catholic Carmel High School in Mundelein, Illinois for one year, graduating in 1976.

Santorum attended Pennsylvania State University for his undergraduate studies, serving as chairman of the university's College Republicans chapter and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with honors in political science in 1980. He then completed a one-year Master of Business Administration program at the University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, graduating in 1981.

Santorum received a JD with honors from the Dickinson School of Law in 1986.