Tom Manion is the 2008 Republican challenger for the United States House of Representatives in Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district.
Education and Professional Life Manion graduated from Widener University before serving 11 years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, and 19 years in the Marine Reserves. He also received a masters degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. In civilian life, Manion was an executive with Johnson & Johnson.
Personal Life Tom grew up in the Philadelphia area and is one of ten children. His father was a salesman and his mother raised the family. Manion is married to Jannett Manion and has two children. Their daughter, Ryan, and son 1stLt Travis Manion, U.S. Marine Corps, who was killed by a sniper near Fallujah on April 29, 2007. 1st Lt Manion was a 2004 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. The Manion's uncommon openness after the loss of their son, even inviting the media to Willow Grove Naval Air Station for the arrival of his remains, resulted in an outpouring of support for his family. It was this loss, and the community support, that inspired him to run for congress.
2008 Congressional Campaign Manion decided to challenge incumbent Congressman Patrick Murphy in large part due to differences on the Iraq War. Congressman Murphy was the first Iraq war veteran elected to congress and has been a staunch critic of it since. Manion consulted with local GOP leaders and received the backing of former Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, who Murphy narrowly defeated in 2006. With both parties trying to cast their campaign in economic and social terms, the campaign is shaping up to be a referendum on the Iraq war. Manion was the subject of a National Public Radio program in March 2008.