NECA member Rob Bresnahan announced he is running for Representative of Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District next November, challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright.
Bresnahan is currently CEO of Kuharchik Construction, a third-generation family-owned business based in Exeter, Pa., and a member of NECA since 1973. Kuharchik specializes in traffic signals, intelligent transportation systems, decorative streetscape revitalization, highway signing, and highway lighting.
“My grandfather started the business in 1973 with a station wagon and a ladder, and he was wiring grocery stores and doing odds and ends for different small businesses and family members and friends,” Bresnahan said. And because his grandfather was friends with a county engineer, he was called up to fix a broken traffic signal. “And ever since then we’ve been doing traffic signals and watching the business grow into what we are today,” he continued.
Bresnahan grew up surrounded by the electrical construction industry. But he didn’t enter the industry through the apprenticeship route; instead, he took the business administration path.
During 2008 and 2009, Bresnahan said Kuharchik was hit hard due to the financial crisis, so at age 19, while still in college, Bresnahan jumped in and became the company’s CFO, looking at the accounting processes and financial statements to see what should be done to keep the company afloat. “It was just eating the elephant one bite at a time and steering the ship away from the iceberg,” he said.
After he took over as CEO of the company, “We were able to grow the company from 50 employees to 150 employees and see 400% revenue growth over that period of time.”
Bresnahan believes experience in electrical contracting could be an invaluable asset to a member of Congress. “As somebody who’s familiar with the electrical contracting system and all of those things that need to happen, you could be better informed as to how that funding should get allocated, in what order than maybe somebody who wasn’t,” he said. He explained that this is especially important for concerns such as infrastructure and electric vehicle charging equipment. “We need to make sure we’re making the necessary infrastructure investments in the right operational order, or we’re putting the cart well in front of the horse.”
Bresnahan’s interest in politics started in 2015 when he participated in the NECA Next Gen Legislative Fly-in, but his concern for the region has been lifelong.
“I love Northeastern Pennsylvania and that’s the area that I’m looking [at] and will be representing, hopefully,” Bresnahan said. “I was born here. I was raised here. I went to the University of Scranton. I stayed here. I had the opportunity to go to school in Philadelphia for construction management. I chose to remain in the area after graduating.”
“This is an opportunity to give back to Northeastern Pennsylvania in a way that I never dreamed imaginable and obviously represent contractors because I was on that side of it,” he continued. “I see the implications of escalation of material, the impacts of equipment and the affordability of manpower. Seeing all of these challenges as a contractor I believe would allow me to serve very effectively, because I saw it from both ends.”
About The Author
Colleen Beaty is senior editor at ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine, where she has worked since 2020. She has been writing about topics such as outside line work, wildlife and habitat conservation for more than 18 years. In her role with ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, she primarily works with the editorial team to fine-tune stories for the magazines and curate content for ECmag.com. She can also be found hosting ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR's webinars. She holds a BS in wildlife conservation from the University of Delaware.
Colleen is fueled by tea (especially chai), and can often be found cross-stitching or birding in her spare time (but not both at once).