Military Wiki
Donald A. Bailey
47th Auditor General of Pennsylvania

In office
January 15, 1985[1] – January 17, 1989[2]
Preceded by Al Benedict
Succeeded by Barbara Hafer
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1983
Preceded by John Dent
Succeeded by Tom Ridge
Personal details
Born Donald Allen Bailey
July 21, 1945(1945-07-21) (age 77)
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Michigan (BA)
Duquesne University (J.D.)
Occupation Attorney, Politician, Soldier
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Silver Star
Bronze Star
Army Commendation Medal

Donald Allen "Don" Bailey (born July 21, 1945) is an American politician and lawyer, from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from 1979 to 1983, Auditor General of Pennsylvania from 1985 to 1989, and a candidate for the Democratic nomination for United States Senate and Governor of Pennsylvania. His Congressional District (PA-21) included all of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania with a sliver of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, prior to the 1981 redistricting.

Early life, education, and early career

Bailey was born Allegheny County to Glenn and Anna Bailey. He was raised in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. He graduated from Greensburg High School in 1963. He received a BA from the University of Michigan in 1967. He was a member of both his high school and college football teams. After college he entered the United States Army, serving with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions in Vietnam. He was awarded Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, two with the Valor device, one for meritorious achievement, Army Commendation Medal, with "V" for Valor, Air Medal, and a second Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service.

After Vietnam, Bailey, worked at a number of "blue collar" jobs, including as a steelworker at J. & L. Steel Corp., during which time he was a member of the United Steelworkers of America. He also graduated from Duquesne University School of Law with a J.D., in 1976, on the G.I. Bill. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar the same year.

U.S. House of Representatives (1979-1983)


In 1978, incumbent Democrat John Dent of Pennsylvania's 21st congressional district decided to retire. Bailey ran and won the Democratic primary with a plurality of 23% in an 11 candidate field.[3] He won the general election with 53% of the vote.[4]

In 1980, he was challenged by two candidates in the primary, but he defeated both of them in April with 60% of the vote.[5] He won re-election to a second term with 68% of the vote.[6]

After redistricting by the state legislature, Bailey's district in 1982 was one of two eliminated as a result of slow-growth in Pennsylvania compared to other states. Most of his district, including his home in Westmoreland County, was merged with the 12th District of fellow Democrat U.S. Congressman and Vietnam veteran John Murtha, who had been serving since 1974. Despite the fact that most of the district was represented by Murtha, Bailey decided to run in the newly redrawn Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district. Murtha defeated Bailey in the primary 52%-38%.[7]


He was generally considered as a moderate-to-conservative Democrat. In 1979, he sponsored legislation to fund synthetic fuel.[8]

He frequently criticized Democrat President Jimmy Carter.[9][10] However, when Carter was challenged by liberal U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, Bailey and most Western Pennsylvania Democrats endorsed Carter. Bailey said "Carter is still the best alternative."[11] He neogotiated for loans for the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel company.[12] In 1981, he opposed raising the retirement age.[13] He also voted against spending cuts proposed by Republican President Ronald Reagan[14] and against a Balanced budget amendment.[15]

Committee assignments

Auditor General of Pennsylvania (1985-1989)

In 1984, Bailey ran for Pennsylvania Auditor General as a Democrat, defeating Republican Susan Shanaman 51%-48%.[19] He was the only Democratic nominee to win statewide that year. During his tenure as Auditor General, Bailey established the first work-site child daycare facility in Pennsylvania government, established minimum education standards for state auditors, and generally modernized auditing procedures.

Legal career (1989-Present)

Since leaving the Auditor General office in 1989, Bailey has been a full-time attorney, based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His specialties include civil rights. He is also quoted as calling himself, an "equal opportunity suer [1]" and does take clients litigating with both Democrats and Republicans. On October 2, 2013, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania suspended Bailey from practice for 5 years[20] as a result of having made false allegations regarding several federal judges in a civil rights case.

Political campaigns since 1986

1986 U.S. Senate election

Bailey decided to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. However, he lost the Democratic primary to U.S. Congressman Bob Edgar 47%-45%.[21]

1988 Auditor General election

Bailey ran for re-election in 1988, but lost to Republican Barbara Hafer, an Allegheny County Commissioner, 49%-48% (difference of 35,618 votes).[22]

1992 Auditor General election

Bailey ran for Auditor General again in 1992. He lost the Democratic primary to State Senator H. Craig Lewis, who won with a plurality of 40% of the vote. Businessman Jack O'Brien ranked second with 27%, Bailey ranked third with 20%, and State Senator Roy C. Afflerbach was last with 12%.[23]

1998 gubernatorial election

In 1998, Bailey ran for Governor of Pennsylvania, challenging incumbent Republican Governor Tom Ridge. Bailey lost the Democratic primary to State Representative Ivan Itkin 49%-39%.[24]

2012 Attorney General election

After fourteen years, Bailey has decided to run for public office again. This time, he is running for Pennsylvania Attorney General as an independent.[25]


  • Bailey was the most decorated[citation needed] military veteran in the United States House during the 97th United States Congress.
  • As an all-star college football player, Bailey played in the 1965 Rose Bowl and North/South All Star Game.[26]


Much of the information is taken from the Congressional Biography website and the offline Pennsylvania Manual, volumes 105 (1981) and 108 (1987).


  1. "Top State Officials Sworn In". January 16, 1985. Retrieved December 9, 2011. 
  2. "Casey welcomes Knoll, Hafer, Preate to Office". January 18, 1989.,3980372&dq=ernie+preate+attorney+general&hl=en. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  26. Pennsylvania Manual, Vol. 108, p. 323 (1987)
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Dent
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 21st congressional district

Succeeded by
Tom Ridge
Political offices
Preceded by
Al Benedict
Auditor General of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Barbara Hafer
Party political offices
Preceded by
Al Benedict
Democratic nominee for Auditor General of Pennsylvania
1984, 1988
Succeeded by
Craig Lewis

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