Meet the Legislator
PA Representative Mike Regan (R), 92nd District
By Angelique H. Caffrey
“It was a transcendent moment.” That’s how Mike Regan describes the instant he realized how much impact he could have as an elected official.
He received a letter from a desperate mother at her wit’s end. Her son had diabetes, and his glucose levels would sink so low overnight that his parents had to stay up every evening to make sure he was out of danger. Although there was a glucose monitor that could do the work instead, their insurance company was giving them a tough time, saying it couldn’t be covered. Regan was moved by her letter, and sent a note of his own to the insurance company asking them to reconsider. In fewer than two weeks, he received a picture from the mom holding the monitor for him to see.
Regan will never forget this experience. “It was so simple,” he explains. “But it so greatly impacted the family. This is a job where you can really have an impact.”
It isn’t the first time he’s worked in a job serving the community. As a U.S. Marshal, he felt a deep sense of gratification when he took offenders off the street. Although he was first drawn to the excitement of the U.S. Marshal position, it didn’t take long for him to see it as a fantastic way to serve. When he retired in 2011, he was named deputy inspector general of PA, a role that he enjoyed, but that didn’t allow for as much direct connection between his actions and the people around him.
Soon, he had the opportunity to take a leap of faith and try something different. At the suggestion of Scott Perry, he decided to run for Perry’s seat in the House. It was a risky proposition: “I was going to have to leave a full time job to pursue a job I might or might not get. If I didn’t win, I was leaving my family in a bit of a lurch.”
His wife, whom he describes as his barometer, was initially leaning against his House run. While at a local coffee shop, she saw one of the other people who was running, and her mindset changed. “She thought, ‘This should be my husband,’” Regan recalls. “So away we went!”
Without any experience in the realm of politics beyond having a “boisterous Republican” father while growing up in Wormleysburg, and an interest in government that started with the Nixon/Humphrey race and continued to grow throughout the Reagan years, he dove into the stress-filled world of campaigning. No doubt his years playing sports in high school and college, as well as a continued interest in fitness, helped him keep up the stamina necessary to push ahead. In 2013, he was sworn in as a legislator.
His commitment is to his constituents, but he controls his days so he can spend time with his family, which includes four children. “I have strict parameters with my scheduling,” says Regan. “I have told my staff not to schedule anything before 10 a.m. I want to spend mornings with my kids.” When possible, he also goes to his children’s sporting events, joking that when you’re a parent, “your kids’ athletic lives turns into your social life!”
Regan is running for a PA Senate seat in 2016. If he wins, he feels he will have a stronger voice as one of 50 than he can as a PA House member. Though he’s concentrating on November 2016 currently, in addition to his continuing responsibilities as a public servant, Regan has a few long-term goals. “I have kind of a dream of being the Director of the U.S. Marshal Service one day,” he admits. “I loved the agency.” In the meantime, he’s vowed to remain invested in the political realm. “I look forward to the whole thing, and I’ll stay in politics as long as I can be effective.”