Tom Marino

Last updated

Tom Marino
Tom Marino Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania
In office
January 3, 2011 January 23, 2019
Republican Tom Marino109,60355
Democratic Chris Carney (incumbent)89,17045

In 2012, Marino won re-election to a second term, defeating Democratic nominee Philip Scollo 66%–34%. [9]

2012 Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district elections
Republican Tom Marino (incumbent)179,56365.6
Democratic Phil Scollo94,22734.4

In 2014, Marino faced off against Independent Nick Troiano and Democrat Scott Brion. Marino garnered 62% of the vote with Troiano received 13% and Brion received 25%. [10]

2014 Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district elections
Republican Tom Marino (incumbent)112,85162.6
Democratic Scott Brion44,73724.8
Nick Troiano22,73412.6


Marino ranked third among Pennsylvania's congressional delegation in Americans for Prosperity's 2012 scorecard (70%) and fifth in the Club for Growth's 2012 scorecard (63%). [11]


Marino was a member of the House Baltic Caucus. [12]


After a court-ordered redistricting, Marino's district was renumbered as the 12th District ahead of the 2018 elections. It lost its suburban territory closer to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, in the process losing its last connection to longtime congressman Joseph McDade, who represented the district from 1961 to 1999. To make up for the loss in population, it was pushed slightly westward to take in State College, home to Penn State.

The new district was no less Republican than its predecessor, and Marino easily won a fifth term, defeating Democrat Marc Friedenberg with 66 percent of the vote. On January 17, 2019, two weeks after being sworn in for a new term, Marino announced his resignation from the House, to be effective January 23, 2019. [13] Marino described his decision to resign as follows: "Having spent over two decades serving the public, I have chosen to take a position in the private sector where I can use both my legal and business experience to create jobs around the nation." [14] Marino's resignation required a special election to be called by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf via a writ of election within 10 days of Marino's resignation becoming effective on January 23, 2019. Per Pennsylvania law, the special election had to occur no fewer than 60 days following the gubernatorial proclamation being made. [15] On May 21, 2019, Republican state representative Fred Keller won the special election with 68.1% of the vote, defeating Marino's 2018 Democratic opponent Marc Friedenberg, and succeeded Marino in Congress. [16]

Political positions

Marino supported the death penalty. He believed that the mentally ill and criminals should not be able to obtain guns. [17]

In July 2013, Marino voted against Justin Amash's amendment #413 to H.R. 2397 "To end authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act and bar the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215." [18]

In 2011, Marino became a co-sponsor of Bill H.R.3261, also known as the Stop Online Piracy Act. [19]

A former supporter of President Donald Trump, who was co-chair of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign in Pennsylvania, Marino broke with Trump in 2022. This came after Trump's decision not to endorse former Congressman Lou Barletta in the Republican primary election for Governor of Pennsylvania. In not endorsing Barletta, who co-chaired alongside him, Marino accused Trump of throwing Barletta "under the bus." Marino also said he would thus not support any candidate who had Trump's endorsement. [20]


In October 2017, The Washington Post and 60 Minutes reported that Marino was the chief advocate of a 2016 bill that hobbled the ability of the Drug Enforcement Administration to combat the opioid epidemic. [21] Marino introduced the bill, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, in 2014 and again in 2015; it failed both times. The 2014 version was opposed by the DEA and the Justice Department, but the 2015 version was sold as an attempt to "work with the pharmaceutical companies" and was subject to heavy lobbying. A similar version introduced in the Senate by Orrin Hatch passed both houses of Congress by unanimous consent and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 19, 2016. [22] The legislation aimed to weaken the DEA's authority to take enforcement action against drug distributors who supplied unscrupulous physician and pharmacists with opioids for diversion to the black market. [21] Previously, the DEA had fined individuals who profited on suspicious sales of painkillers and repeatedly ignored warnings that the painkillers were sold illegally. [21] The new legislation would have made it "virtually impossible" for the DEA to stop these sales, according to internal agency documents, Justice Department documents, and the DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge John J. Mulrooney II. [21] Marino, whose district was heavily affected by the opioid epidemic, declined to comment on the reports. [21] The drug industry spent at least $102 million lobbying Congress on the legislation between 2014 and 2016. [21] McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health spent $13 million lobbying in support of the bill. [23] When Joseph Rannazzisi, the chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)'s Office of Diversion Control, strongly criticized the bill, Marino and his cosponsor Marsha Blackburn demanded that the drug diversion enforcer be investigated by the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. [23] Nothing came of the investigation but Rannazzisi was removed from his position in August and retired in October 2015. [23] [24] [25] According to The New York Times, Blackburn's best known legislation was that bill which revised the legal standard that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had used to establish that "a significant and present risk of death or serious bodily harm that is more likely than not to occur," rather than the previous tougher standard of "imminent danger," before suspending the manufacturer's opioid drug shipments. [21] The legislation was criticized in internal Justice Department documents, and by the DEA's chief administrative law judge, as hampering DEA enforcement actions against drug distribution companies engaging in black-market sales. [21] Rannazzisi said he informed Blackburn's staffers precisely what the effects would be as a result of the passage of a 2016 law the two sponsored, as national awareness grew regarding a crisis in the prescriptions of opioids in the United States. Blackburn admitted her bill had what she characterized as unforeseen “unintended consequences,” but Rannazzisi said they should have been anticipated. He said that during a July 2014 conference call he informed congressional staffers the bill would cause more difficulties for the DEA if it pursued corporations which were illegally distributing such drugs. [26]

Post-Congressional career

Office of National Drug Control Policy

In September 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Marino to serve as the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy ("drug czar"). [27] [1] In October, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) called on Trump to withdraw Marino's nomination. [28] Trump said he would "look into" reports about Marino, putting his nomination in question. [29] On October 17, 2017, Marino withdrew his nomination. [2]

Lycoming County D.A. campaign

In 2023, Marino announced he would run for District Attorney of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, which he held once before. Despite earlier rumors, Marino said he would not run against incumbent Republican D.A. Ryan C. Gardner. However, Gardner later announced his decision to not run for re-election, instead running for a judge seat. Gardner's decision thus left the D.A. position open for Marino to run. Until his candidacy announcement, Marino and his wife lived in Florida. [30] He then moved back to Lycoming County. Because of his recent residency in Florida, two challenges have been made to invalidate his candidacy. [31] One challenge was dismissed by a judge, appealed to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, [32] and dismissed again. [33] The other has been sent for review by the Pennsylvania Attorney General. [34] Marino ran unopposed in the Republican primary, [35] and received the most votes as a write-in in the Democratic primary. [36]

Personal life

Marino and his wife Edie currently live in Loyalsock Township, Pennsylvania. [31]

In February 2019, Marino said health issues led to his January resignation from Congress. Multiple battles with kidney cancer have left Marino with only part of one kidney, and after another kidney problem required surgery, he made his decision to resign. [37]

Marino is Roman Catholic. [38]

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  1. 1 2 3 Straehley, Steve; Wallechinsky, David (September 19, 2017). "Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy: Who Is Tom Marino?". AllGov. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  2. 1 2 Chappell, Bill (October 17, 2017). "Tom Marino, Trump's Pick As Drug Czar, Withdraws After Damaging Opioid Report". NPR. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  3. DeBonis, Mike (January 17, 2019). "Republican Rep. Marino of Pennsylvania to resign from Congress". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
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  12. "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
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  15. Gonzales, Nathan L. (January 17, 2019). "Pennsylvania 12 special election: Is Marino's seat at risk?". Roll Call. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
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  17. Brady, Chris (March 26, 2013). "Marino: Keep guns away from mentally ill, felons". Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  18. "H.Amdt. 413 (Amash) to H.R. 2397: Amendment sought to end authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot..." July 24, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  19. Bill H.R.3261
  20. Beauge, John (May 15, 2022). "Tom Marino accuses Trump of throwing Barletta 'under the bus'". PennLive Patriot-News . Advance Local Media LLC. Retrieved February 7, 2023.
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "How Congress allied with drug company lobbyists to derail the DEA's war on opioids". Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 15, 2017. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  22. Higham, Scott (October 15, 2017). "The drug industry's triumph over the DEA". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  23. 1 2 3 Lenny Bernstein; Scott Higham (October 22, 2016). "Investigation: The DEA slowed enforcement while the opioid epidemic grew out of control". The Washington Post . Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  24. "Meet 60 Minutes, Washington Post DEA Whistleblower". CBS News. October 15, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  25. "Too many pills". Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting. October 21, 2017.
  26. Ex-DEA official says Blackburn had warning on opioid law, Jonathan Mattise, October 26, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
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  28. "Senator: Trump should withdraw Marino nomination". Citizen's Voice. October 16, 2017. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  29. O'Keefe, Ed (October 16, 2017). "Trump promises to 'look into' report on drug czar nominee Marino in wake of Post-'60 Minutes' probe". Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  30. Beauge, John (February 5, 2023). "Ex-congressman, federal prosecutor to run for D.A. in Pa. county". PennLive Patriot-News . Advance Local Media LLC. Retrieved February 7, 2023.
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  36. "Official Results of the May 16, 2023 Municipal Primary Write-in Nominees" (PDF). Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. Lycoming County Board of Elections. May 24, 2023. p. 1. Retrieved June 5, 2023.
  37. "Ex-Congressman Marino Now Cites Health for Resigning". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  38. Religious affiliation of members of 115th Congress (PDF) (Report). Pew Research Center. January 3, 2017. Retrieved April 18, 2023.
Legal offices
Preceded by District Attorney of Lycoming County
Succeeded by
Michael Dinges
Preceded by
David Barasch
United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Martin Carlson
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district

Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative