Richard A. Kasunic was elected to the Pennsylvania Senate in November 1994, highlighting a public service career that began in 1982. In January 1995, he began a four-year term representing the 32nd Senatorial District and is now serving his fifth term.
Sen. Kasunic was born January 8, 1947, in Dunbar Township (Monarch), the son of the late Walter A. and Gertrude Bashinsky Kasunic. He lives in Dunbar Township (Monarch) and has a son, Richard A. Kasunic II.
A 1964 graduate of Dunbar Township High School, Sen. Kasunic earned an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Robert Morris Junior College, Pittsburgh, in 1967, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Youngstown State University in 1970.
He served with the Pennsylvania National Guard from 1970 to 1976.
A lifelong resident of Dunbar Township (Monarch), Sen. Kasunic was elected in 1982 to represent the 52nd Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He served in the House for six terms before choosing to run for the Senate in 1994.
Sen. Kasunic’s top legislative priorities are economic development, job training, education, business development, water and sewer improvements and highway construction.
Sen. Kasunic is a member of the Senate Democratic Leadership, serving as Democratic Caucus Chairman. In this position, he presides over caucus meetings, organizes activities, and provides members with all information on legislative action before the state Senate. Previously, he served as the Democratic Policy Committee Chairman (1995-2010).
Sen. Kasunic is the Democratic Chair, Senate Game & Fisheries Committee and a member of the Senate Committees on Rules & Executive Nominations, Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure, Labor & Industry, Public Health & Welfare and Transportation.
He also serves on the Community Action Agency of Pennsylvania Advisory Board, Joint State Government Commission, Joint Legislative Air & Water Pollution Control & Conservation Committee, State Transportation Advisory Committee, Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee, the Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council, Pennsylvania Infrastructure & Investment Authority (PENNVEST) and is a member of the Arthritis Caucus, Autism Caucus, Pennsylvania Fair Caucus, Fire & Emergency Services Caucus, Early Childhood Education Caucus, Lupus Caucus, Keystone State Games Legislative Caucus, Community College Caucus and Bi-Cameral Natural Gas Vehicle Caucus.
Senator Kasunic serves as Honorary Chair for PA Small Business Development Centers in Tampa, the Pennsylvania State University/Fayette Campus Advisory Board, Fayette County Community Action Agency Board of Directors, Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, Fayette County Local Emergency Planning Committee, Somerset County Economic Development Council, Continental 1 (formerly Route 219 Association), American Cancer Society Relay for Life, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Board of Trustees (Western PA and WV Chapter).
He belongs to the Saint Aloysius Church and many local organizations including the Independent Slovak Citizens Club, Perryopolis Sons of Italy and American Legion Post 51.
He is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and a member of the Dunbar Sportsman’s Club and South Connellsville Sportsman’s Club.