Jeff Coleman was born on the Fourth of July in 1975, at Whidbey Island Naval Base in Washington State. His mother, Milan, is a native of the Philippines, and his father hails from western New York. Before Jeff was thirteen, the Colemans would enter Presbyterian missionary service in South America, Africa, and for four years in the Philippine capital of Manila. It was there that Jeff would learn to speak Tagalog and come to know many Philippine customs rooted in a respect for family and elders.
INSPIRED BY PEOPLE POWER
In 1986, Jeff and his parents witnessed the electoral defeat and overthrow of a twenty-year dictator when two million Filipinos took to the streets to protest blatant election fraud. He often cites these tumultuous events as the impetus for his political engagement. When the Colemans relocated to Apollo, Pennsylvania in 1988—a community then recently devastated by the steel industry’s decline—Jeff volunteered for dozens of Republican candidates.
MEETING REBECCA, DEFEATING AN INCUMBENT
In 1998, Jeff met his future wife Rebecca for the first time in the registration line for fall classes at Liberty University. Their common interest in Republican politics, George Jones, yard sales, and road trips proved the spark to a relationship that remains the center of his life. Rebecca and a team of college friends were key to Jeff’s upset victory in 2000 against a longtime incumbent in a Democratic stronghold when, at age 25, Jeff became the youngest member of the House of Representatives. His positive, innovative campaign style was later used to expand Republican ranks throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. Jeff proposed to Rebecca on his first swearing-in day, and they married a year later.
SERVING AND LEAVING
Jeff’s time in the House was shaped by his respectful approach and building friendships with colleagues in both political parties. He opposed Republican and Democratic state spending increases and tax hikes, helped lead the floor fight against gambling expansion, and supported civil rights protections for preborn citizens. During his tenure, he received high marks from organizations ranging from the Commonwealth Foundation to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). At the end of his second term, he announced a decision to retire from the House, startling many political observers. The move is often cited by the Colemans as key to strengthening their young marriage and beginning a new chapter in their life as parents.
FOUNDING CHURCHILL, WRITING A BOOK
In 2005, Jeff and Rebecca founded Churchill Strategies to help elect principled, conservative candidates to public office and advance conservative causes. In addition to his signature commitment to issues-based campaigning, they’ve helped dozens of young candidates and their families navigate the daily challenges of the political process. Each year, they help host a leadership retreat aimed at helping lawmakers balance the hard realities of political and family life. In 2016, Jeff recounted some of his formative experiences in politics in his book, With All Due Respect: Recovering the Manners and Civility of Political Combat.
JEFF AND REBECCA + FOUR
The Colemans are the parents of four young children, Anna (16), Teddy (11), Charlotte (8), and Henry (7). The family attends Living Water Community Church, a multi-ethnic church located near downtown Harrisburg. In 2019, Rebecca was elected to Borough Council in Lemoyne, the community they are proud to call home.