In early March 2022, Joe Hogan received quite the unexpected call. It was Frank Farry, who, after over a decade serving residents of the 142nd Legislative District, had announced his bid to run for the state Senate. Given Hogan’s local roots and government experience, Farry thought he was the best man for the job.
Hogan, a resident of Langhorne, obliged and came out victorious against Democrat Mark Moffa in what turned out to be a very tight race. He was officially sworn in earlier this month during a ceremony in Harrisburg.
“It hit me when I was being sworn in on the House floor, this awesome responsibility that my neighbors and constituents have given me. They’re looking at me now to do something, and that’s why we’ve been working since day one,” he told The Times. “People in Bucks County, they expect a high level of constituent service. That goes back many years, starting with Mike Fitzpatrick, Tommy Tomlinson, all those elected officials with well-known names. They were always present in the community, so now voters expect that and I want to deliver on that promise.”
A native of Levittown, Hogan remembers his parents getting by easily as a one-income household — his father worked while his mother stayed at home. Those days, he said, are probably long behind us, but he hopes to make life just a little less financially stressful for residents.
“It was easier to live. It was easier to pay your bills, stay in the place that you grew up in. Now, for somebody to do that, it’s very hard. That is for good reason — we have great schools, good quality of life, people want to be here. But finding the right types of jobs, the right level of education or technical expertise is making it harder for people to stay in the community that they want to be in,” he said.
During his tenure in office, one of Hogan’s key goals is to bring more businesses and good-paying jobs to Lower Bucks. He explained how there’s both a highly-trained workforce and a workforce that’s willing to be highly-trained. They just need the right employment and educational opportunities.
“We need to deliver on those two mismatches so that people can stay in this area, live, raise a family and work close to home,” said Hogan.
The new representative of the 142nd District, which encompasses Lower Southampton Township, Langhorne, Langhorne Manor, Penndel and parts of Middletown Township and Northampton Township, is a graduate of Conwell-Egan Catholic High School and Penn State. Following his studies, he began working for the late Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick in 2011. Over the years, Hogan climbed the ladder, lending his skills to various legislative portfolios in Washington, D.C.
After a brief stint in the private sector with a grocery store company, Hogan landed a job with The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Bucks, which he thought was a much better fit, especially given his master’s in economic development. As program director, Hogan made sure that a number of projects — from the renovation of blighted homes to helping small businesses keep their doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic — came to fruition.
Four years were spent with The Redevelopment Authority, but when the chance to serve residents on a larger scale was given, Hogan knew he had to at least try.
“I felt like I had more to lose by sitting on the sidelines than getting into the race,” he said. “My wife and I, we’re looking to start a family pretty soon. I’m looking at an America that I don’t necessarily recognize, and I’m trying to do my part so that future generations can grow up in a country that they’re proud of.”
In fact, Farry’s call came at a less-than-ideal time. Last March, Hogan was in Poland assisting refugees from Ukraine. He reflected on how, after the Russian invasion, over 3 million people crossed the border in the span of a week, with countless individuals and families living on strangers’ couches and in bus terminals. It was the largest humanitarian crisis, he said, since World War II. Hogan was focused on the mission at hand and had to ask Farry for a few days to think it over. But after discussing the matter with loved ones, he set his campaign in motion.
Now that he’s officially in office, Hogan wants to be considered a “bridge-builder.”
“That’s my philosophy with this. I will help anybody that I possibly can and I will find consensus with my new coworkers in Harrisburg on issues and try to work together, because there’s a lot of gridlock in our country. There’s a lot of gridlock in Harrisburg right now,” he said. “I think some of it, just by having fresh faces and a willingness to get the job done, we can actually get through some of it.”
Hogan’s office is located at 51 School Lane in Feasterville, with a second set to open in Penndel. Residents can reach him at 215-942-4067 with any questions or concerns, or visit RepHogan.com for more information.
“If there’s anything I can do for the residents of the 142nd District, don’t be afraid to stop in,” he said. “Give us a call, we’re happy to help. We’re here for you. If we can’t get the answer for you, we’ll find somebody that can.”
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org