Stephen R. Wojdak
December 15, 1938 – June 2, 2015

Stephen R. Wojdak, who served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for four terms, is considered to be one of the founders of the contract lobbying business in Pennsylvania. His career in public affairs spanned more than 40 years and he built one of the premier government relations firms before passing away at the age of 76.

A graduate of the University of Scranton and University of Pennsylvania Law School, Steve was elected to represent the 169th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1968. He served four terms, ultimately serving as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, before retiring in 1976. The next year, he founded S. R. Wojdak & Associates, a lobbying firm with offices in Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

Wojdak's first lobbying client was the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania, where he was successful in securing $70 million in state funding to pay for indigent care at 320 Pennsylvania hospitals. The firm's client list grew to include Fortune 500 companies, major universities and health care systems, cultural and tourism organizations, and trade associations. He was instrumental in attempts to change Pennsylvania's tort reform laws, telecommunications and electric deregulation efforts, establishment of gaming in the state, and in obtaining state funds for the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the (now) Wells Fargo Center, SEPTA, and Lincoln Financial Field.

Media reports regularly hailed Wojdak as one of the most effective lobbyists in Harrisburg. In 1992, the Philadelphia Daily News dubbed Wojdak as the "King of Clout," saying that "through savvy, contacts, and money, Stephen Wojdak is influencing public policy like no one else." In 1994, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, said that "so pervasive is the Harrisburg clout of Stephen Wojdak that some lawmakers refer to him as the 51st Senator" and a few years later, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, said that "of the 848 registered lobbyists in the state, Wojdak is considered to have the most clout." In 1999, Philadelphia Magazine, named him to its Power 100 list, saying he is a "player nonpareil of the Harrisburg lobbying game." In 2003 and 2009, Wojdak was named to the Pennsylvania Report "Power 75" list, and he was named to the PoliticsPA list of "Sy Snyder's Power 50" in 2002 and 2003. In 2010, Politics Magazine named him one of the most influential Democrats in Pennsylvania.

Wojdak hired several prominent former legislative staffers, including Joseph P. McLaughlin, a former Philadelphia deputy mayor, who managed the Philadelphia business of Wojdak & Associates in the 1990s, and Steve Crawford, a former chief of staff to Governor Ed Rendell, who is currently Managing Vice President of the firm. In 2000, Wojdak founded Bellevue Communications Group, a public relations company which is headed by former Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Kevin A. Feeley.

Wojdak died on June 2, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts while on vacation on Martha's Vineyard. You can read more about Steve and his career in public affairs by clicking on the links below.

"Longtime PA Lobbyist Stephen Wojdak Dies"

"Stephen R. Wojdak, 76, prominent city and Harrisburg lobbyist"

"Stephen R. Wojdak remembered as one of the founders of Pennsylvania's contract lobbying business"