Who is Ralph?
Ralph Straus Regula (December 3, 1924 – July 19, 2017) was the United States Representative for Ohio’s 16th congressional district from 1973 to 2009. He retired in January 2009 after 18 consecutive terms. He was a member of the Republican Party. In the 110th Congress (2007–2009), he was the second longest serving Republican member of the House of Representatives (after Bill Young of Florida).
Regula was ranking minority member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health, Human Services and Education funding in the 110th Congress. The subcommittee’s budget, the largest discretionary domestic account, was over $140 billion. Regula, a former teacher and principal, was a Congressional leader in pushing for alternative solutions in improving reading skills, developing teacher training and increasing Pell Grant funding so that poorer and middle class students can obtain two and four year degrees. Regula also increased by millions of dollars the amount of federal money committed to research in fighting cancer, heart disease and birth defects. Regula was a member of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership and supports stem cell research.
Regula was also a Congressional leader in alternative energy sources. He was an early champion of fuel cell technology and he has directed federal funding back to his home state, Ohio, which is recognized as a national leader in fuel cell research and development. Additionally, Regula was a proponent of clean coal. Ohio and its neighboring states have an abundant supply of coal and Regula believes that it could help alleviate the nation’s energy problems because larger energy users, such a large manufacturers, could use clean coal rather than natural gas. Such utilization would help reduce home energy costs and free up the demand for natural gas. Additionally, he was the impetus behind what was to ultimately become the AmericaView Consortium, started in 1998 as OhioView with the goal of supporting the delivery and use of Landsat imagery for civilian applications.
Since 1975, Regula blocked the renaming of Mount McKinley in Alaska, named for President William McKinley, to Denali; Canton, McKinley’s long-time hometown and resting place, was in Regula’s congressional district. The name was eventually changed in 2015. Regula described the change as a political stunt by President Obama and called it ridiculous.
Regula, a former country lawyer, U.S. Navy veteran and state legislator, was first elected in 1972. Previously he had served on the Ohio Board of Education and in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate. An alumnus of Mount Union College, he is married to Mary whom he met there, and they have three children and four grandchildren.
Rep. Regula retired from the House of Representatives when his term ended in January 2009. He was succeeded by John Boccieri, a Democrat from the Ohio General Assembly.
After retiring from Congress, Regula joined Dawson & Associates in Washington, DC as an advisor on federal budget and permitting matters.