Rick Santorum


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Rick Santorum, 53, is a former senator from Pennsylvania who was once the chamber’s third-ranking Republican. As a lawmaker, he was critical of homosexuality -- which he once compared to bestiality -- as well as abortion and stem-cell research. In 2005, Time magazine named him one of the nation’s 25 most influential evangelicals. Santorum withdrew from the race on April 10, 2012.

Santorum’s willingness to take uncompromising stands on social issues made him a target of Democrats who easily defeated him in 2006. Democrat Bob Casey won the election by 18 percentage points.

Since then, Santorum has worked at a law firm, as a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and, until this year, as a commentator for Fox News.

Santorum was born in Winchester, Virginia and grew up in Pennsylvania, the son of a clinical psychologist who worked for the Veterans Administration. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Pennsylvania State University, where he was head of the college Republicans. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

He worked for a law firm for four years until winning his first House race in 1990 at the age of 32. He was elected to the Senate in 1994 and served two terms. Santorum and his wife Karen have seven children. An eighth died shortly after birth.

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