Hagan retains railroad roots in new lobbying job - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Hagan retains railroad roots in new lobbying job

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It is no longer a mystery as to why Bob Hagan resigned from his position on the Ohio Board of Education after only six months on the job.

It was announced on Tuesday that Hagan has been appointed as the new Director of Political and Legislative Affairs for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.

The sixty-six-year-old former legislator submitted his resignation as a state school board member effective July 1 to accept the lobbying job in Washington.

The appointment will become effective July 13, 2015, and Hagan will be headquartered at the BLET’s National Legislative Office in Washington, D.C.

Among other assignments, Hagan will lobby for legislative issues and handle political education under the direction of National President Pierce and Vice President and National Legislative Representative John Tolman.

The job with the union would seem to be a logical next step for the seasoned legislator who is also a locomotive engineer.

Hagan worked for 15 years as a locomotive engineer before heading to state government and continued to work as an engineer with CSX while performing his duties on the Ohio Board of Education.

“With his wealth of knowledge, Brother Bob Hagan is a valuable addition to our National Legislative Office staff,” said BLET President Dennis R. Pierce in a statement posted on the union's website. “All BLET members will benefit from his presence on Capitol Hill thanks in large part to his railroad experience of more than 40 years and his 28-plus years in the political arena. There are many important political and legislative issues facing our Brotherhood, and I have every confidence that Brother Bob Hagan will do an excellent job of educating legislators and representing the best interests of our members,” said Pierce.

The BLET represents more than 55,000 locomotive engineers, conductors, brakemen, and other employees on railroads in the United States.

According to its website, the BLET National Legislative Office seeks to maintain, expand and deepen the union's relationships with Congress, labor leaders, government agencies and the general public.

In addition to Hagan's railroad career that began in 1971, his political experience goes back nearly thirty years.

He was first elected in 1986 to represent the 53rd House District, which encompassed all of greater Youngstown.

Hagan has characterized himself as a legislator who focused on elevating the priorities of working and middle class families, fighting to retain collective bargaining and other worker's rights.

Two years ago Hagan took to the podium during the BLET's 150th anniversary celebration in Detroit and declared, “I'm a locomotive engineer and union man, and I'm damn proud of that”, according to the bi-monthly newsletter published by the union.

Rep. Hagan remained in the Ohio House for ten years before being appointed in 1997 to the Ohio Senate. Hagan served the 33rd Senate District, which included all of Mahoning and Carroll, a small portion of Stark and a portion of Tuscarawas Counties. Voters re-elected Hagan to that post in 1998 and 2002 before he returned to the Ohio House in 2006.

Rep. Hagan was re-elected three times to the House, where he served on the House Health and Aging and Transportation Committees, as well as serving as ranking minority member on the House Commerce, Labor and Technology Committee.

Term limits prevented him from running for re-election for a fifth term in the House.

Hagan's wife, Michelle Lepore Hagan successfully ran for that house seat this past November, while her husband was elected to the state board of education.

Governor John Kasich will select someone to finish the rest of Hagan's unexpired term on the State Board of Education.

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