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Vincent J. Hughes (born October 26, 1956) is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, representing the 7th District since 1994.[1] He is currently the Democratic chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Vincent J. Hughes
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 7th district
Assumed office
November 21, 1994
Preceded byChaka Fattah
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 190th district
In office
January 6, 1987 – November 21, 1994
Preceded byJames Barber
Succeeded byMichael Horsey
Personal details
Born (1956-10-26) October 26, 1956 (age 63)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political partyDemocratic
Sheryl Lee Ralph (m. 2005)

ResidencePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Alma materTemple University

Hughes previously served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from the 190th District from 1987 to 1995.[2] He is married to actress, singer, and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph. Hughes is a member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus.[3]

Early life and educationEdit

Hughes was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James and Ann (née Adams) Hughes.[4] After attending Temple University, he worked as library administrator at the University of Pennsylvania and was an official of District Council 47 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.[5]


In 1984, Hughes unsuccessfully ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 190th District, losing to longtime incumbent James Barber in the Democratic primary.[5] He challenged Barber again in 1986, and finally won the nomination.[6] In the general election, he defeated his Republican opponent, Sandra R. Kellar, by a margin of 89%-11%.[7] As a member of the State House, he served as chairman the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus from 1991 to 1994.[1]

After Chaka Fattah resigned to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, Hughes was elected to succeed him as State Senator from the 7th District in a special election on November 21, 1994.[4] As a member of the State Senate, he has served as Deputy Minority Whip (2005-2006), Minority Caucus Secretary (2007-2008), Minority Caucus Chair (2009-2010).[2] He was elected Minority Chair of the Appropriations Committee in 2011.[2]

In February 2012, Hughes voted in favor of House Bill 1950.[8] This bill significantly reduces the rights of municipalities to defend themselves against health risks posed by gas drilling.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Biography". Senator Vincent Hughes.
  2. ^ a b c "Senator Vincent J. Hughes". Project Vote Smart.
  3. ^ "Members List". Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Pennsylvania Manual" (PDF). Pennsylvania Department of General Services. 119.
  5. ^ a b Morrison, John F. (1984-04-11). "2 INCUMBENTS LOSE HOUSE RACES". Philadelphia Daily News.
  6. ^ Gallagher, Maria (1986-05-21). "CASEY FINDS SLOGAN GETS THE JOB DONE". Philadelphia Daily News.
  7. ^ Infield, Tom (1986-11-06). "INS AND OUTS ON THE DAY AFTER INCUMBENCY PROVES TO BE A SOLID DEFENSE". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  8. ^
  9. ^

External linksEdit