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Democrat

Sen. Christopher Coons (D)

Christopher Coons Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-224-5042

Address: 127A RSOB, DC 20510

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (302) 573-6345

Address: 1105 North Market Street, Wilmington DE 19801-1233

Dover DE

Phone: (302) 736-5601

Fax: (302) 736-5609

Address: 500 West Loockerman Street, Dover DE 19904

Christopher Coons Staff
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Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Hummon-Jones, Lisa
Legislative Assistant
Rohrer, Kate
Kent and Sussex Coordinator
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Mancinelli, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Doherty, Ryan
Defense Fellow
Mancinelli, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Rohrer, Kate
Kent and Sussex Coordinator
Sanmugalingam, Valli
Legislative Correspondent
Bracy, Latisha
Projects Director
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Bracy, Latisha
Projects Director
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Bracy, Latisha
Projects Director
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
O'Neill, Megan
Executive Assistant
Sanmugalingam, Valli
Legislative Correspondent
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Hummon-Jones, Lisa
Legislative Assistant
Rohrer, Kate
Kent and Sussex Coordinator
Mancinelli, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Sanmugalingam, Valli
Legislative Correspondent
O'Neill, Claire
Special Assistant
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
O'Neill, Claire
Special Assistant
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Mancinelli, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Sanmugalingam, Valli
Legislative Correspondent
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Hummon-Jones, Lisa
Legislative Assistant
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Sanmugalingam, Valli
Legislative Correspondent
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Mancinelli, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Rohrer, Kate
Kent and Sussex Coordinator
Mancinelli, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Sanmugalingam, Valli
Legislative Correspondent
Hummon-Jones, Lisa
Legislative Assistant
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
O'Neill, Claire
Special Assistant
Rohrer, Kate
Kent and Sussex Coordinator
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Doherty, Ryan
Defense Fellow
Mancinelli, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Rohrer, Kate
Kent and Sussex Coordinator
Sanmugalingam, Valli
Legislative Correspondent
O'Neill, Megan
Executive Assistant
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Bracy, Latisha
Projects Director
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Bracy, Latisha
Projects Director
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Hummon-Jones, Lisa
Legislative Assistant
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Hummon-Jones, Lisa
Legislative Assistant
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Rohrer, Kate
Kent and Sussex Coordinator
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Hummon-Jones, Lisa
Legislative Assistant
Mancinelli, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Sanmugalingam, Valli
Legislative Correspondent
Sanmugalingam, Valli
Legislative Correspondent
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Hummon-Jones, Lisa
Legislative Assistant
Doherty, Ryan
Defense Fellow
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Mackie, Brendan
Constituent Advocate
Sanmugalingam, Valli
Legislative Correspondent
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Babbitt, Casey
Director of Scheduling
Bailey, Shavonne
Projects Assistant
Bracy, Latisha
Projects Director
Brady, Krista
Constituent Team Leader
Burritt, Desiree
Constituent Advocate
Cunningham, Brian
State Press Secretary
Daley, James
Systems Administrator
Doherty, Ryan
Defense Fellow
Falin, Scott
Legislative Aide
Hall, Trinity
Administrative Director
Hess, Lauren
Delaware Scheduler
Hummon-Jones, Lisa
Legislative Assistant
Kelley, Mary Ann
Deputy Delaware Scheduler; Staff Assistant
Koski, Ian
Senior Advisor
Mackie, Brendan
Constituent Advocate
Mancinelli, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
McGowan, Michael
New Castle County Director
O'Neill, Claire
Special Assistant
O'Neill, Megan
Executive Assistant
Paoli, Jim
State Director
Phifer, Lynne
Staff Assistant
Rivera, Tyler
Constituent Services Representative
Rohrer, Kate
Kent and Sussex Coordinator
Sanmugalingam, Valli
Legislative Correspondent
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Wall, Eric
Legislative Correspondent
Webster, Todd
Chief of Staff
Daley, James
Systems Administrator
Koski, Ian
Senior Advisor
Singh, JJ
Economic Policy Advisor
Burritt, Desiree
Constituent Advocate
Mackie, Brendan
Constituent Advocate
Falin, Scott
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Bailey, Shavonne
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Webster, Todd
Chief of Staff
Rohrer, Kate
Kent and Sussex Coordinator
Babbitt, Casey
Director of Scheduling
Bracy, Latisha
Projects Director
Hall, Trinity
Administrative Director
McGowan, Michael
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Paoli, Jim
State Director
O'Neill, Megan
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Hummon-Jones, Lisa
Legislative Assistant
Mancinelli, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Thomas, Jacqueline
Legislative Assistant
Sanmugalingam, Valli
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Wall, Eric
Legislative Correspondent
Stahler, Jonathan
Legislative Director
Cunningham, Brian
State Press Secretary
Rivera, Tyler
Constituent Services Representative
Hess, Lauren
Delaware Scheduler
Kelley, Mary Ann
Deputy Delaware Scheduler; Staff Assistant
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Kelley, Mary Ann
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Christopher Coons Committees
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Christopher Coons Biography
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  • Elected: 2010, term expires 2020, 2nd term.
  • State: Delaware
  • Born: Sep. 09, 1963, Greenwich, CT
  • Home: Wilmington
  • Education:

    Amherst Col., B.A. 1985; Yale U., J.D. 1992; Yale Divinity Schl., M.A. 1992.

  • Professional Career:

    Practicing atty., 1996-2004.

  • Political Career:

    New Castle Cnty. Cncl., 2001-05; New Castle Cnty. exec., 2005-10.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Presbyterian

  • Family: Married (Annie); 3 children

Delaware’s junior senator is Christopher Coons, who won Vice President Joe Biden’s former Senate seat in 2010 by defeating the tea party-backed Christine O’Donnell, then easily won a full term on his own in 2014. He is a Republican-friendly, business-friendly Democrat in the mold of Virginia’s Mark Warner, Colorado’s Michael Bennet, and his home-state colleague, Tom Carper. Read More

Delaware’s junior senator is Christopher Coons, who won Vice President Joe Biden’s former Senate seat in 2010 by defeating the tea party-backed Christine O’Donnell, then easily won a full term on his own in 2014. He is a Republican-friendly, business-friendly Democrat in the mold of Virginia’s Mark Warner, Colorado’s Michael Bennet, and his home-state colleague, Tom Carper.

Coons was born in Greenwich, Conn., the middle son of Ken and Sally Coons. His mother was a schoolteacher; his father held a variety of jobs, including managing a cannery and manufacturing kitchen furniture. After the family moved to Delaware in Coons’ early childhood, bankruptcy wiped out much of his father’s business success. His parents later divorced. In high school, Coons considered himself a Republican like his parents and volunteered for Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign. His conversion to the Democratic Party came while he was a student at Amherst College. Visiting Kenya for a semester in 1984, Coons said that observing his host family changed the way he thought about poverty and free markets and led him to write a tongue-in-cheek column for the college newspaper, titled “Chris Coons: The Making of a Bearded Marxist.”

After graduating in 1985, Coons did relief work with a church group in South Africa, and then returned to the United States to attend Yale Law School. He also enrolled in the Divinity School and graduated from both programs in 1992. He moved to New York City to work with low-income students with the “I Have a Dream” Foundation. Delaware beckoned, though, and Coons moved back in 1996 after getting married; he and his wife had met while serving on a state community service commission the year before. Coons joined his stepfather’s Newark-based fabrics company, W.L. Gore and Associates, as a lawyer. His first foray into politics came in 2000, when he ran for the New Castle County Council. After four years, he was elected county executive on an anti-corruption platform. Despite promising in his campaign not to increase taxes, Coons wound up raising taxes to close a budget gap.

When Biden was chosen to join Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential ticket, the heavy favorite on the Democratic side for the open seat was state Attorney General Beau Biden, the incumbent’s son. But the younger Biden declined to run, perhaps influenced by the appraisal by leading Democrats that the race was probably unwinnable against Republican Rep. Michael Castle, who had been elected statewide 12 times in 30 years and was the prohibitive favorite in the general election. But in one of 2010’s big upsets, Castle lost the GOP primary to O’Donnell, a local television commentator and perennial Senate candidate who hadn’t been taken seriously until her stunning primary win. By that time, Coons was already in the race, having decided to run after Biden’s announcement in February, and now with Castle out of the way, he had a real shot at winning.

Coons got the attention of the national media and an immediate double-digit lead over O’Donnell. Predictions that she would be a weak opponent were fulfilled in spades. O’Donnell was put on the defensive by old footage showing her condemning masturbation and claiming to have dabbled in witchcraft. She was compelled to tape a now-famous campaign ad in which she reassured her supporters, “I am not a witch. I’m nothing you’ve heard. I am you.” A conservative, she also criticized judicial activism but could not answer a question about which Supreme Court cases she disagreed with.

O’Donnell focused on Coons’ record raising of taxes as county executive, dubbing him “The Tax Man.” Republicans also tried to use his “Bearded Marxist” essay as a line of attack, but he insisted the title was hyperbolic for humor’s sake. “I am a clean-shaven capitalist,” he retorted. Mostly, Coons kept a low profile while O’Donnell’s campaign came apart with one controversy after another. She did make some headway with voters and ardent tea party activists who praised her for a common touch. And, she was no slouch at fundraising. O’Donnell raised over $7 million for her campaign, almost double that of Coons’ $3.8 million.

But on Election Day, it wasn’t close. Coons won, 57% to 40%. Exit polls showed that he attracted significant crossover votes from Republicans and was heavily favored by women, who split 63%-35% in Coons’ favor. O’Donnell fared somewhat better with men, who voted 53%-44% for Coons. However, the two ran about evenly among independents. Unaffiliated voters split 49% for Coons and 46% for O’Donnell.

Even before winning the race, Coons found himself the object of adoration among Democrats; Majority Leader Harry Reid told The Hill newspaper in September 2010, “He’s my favorite candidate. He’s my pet.” Coons was named in December 2012 to lead a Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee effort to engage business executives.

But Coons also has made a determined effort to work with Republicans. He teamed with a fellow freshman, Republican Marco Rubio, to introduce a jobs bill in November 2011 after compiling ideas from colleagues. From his seat on the Judiciary Committee, he got a measure into law in May 2012 to extend the authorizations of 29 temporary bankruptcy judgeships in 14 states and Puerto Rico. He also joined with Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar and Texas Republican John Cornyn on a bill to make the illegal streaming of television shows or movies a felony. As a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Coons sought to make the tax code more favorable to renewable energy firms and joined Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma in a 2012 effort to scrutinize the renewable fuels standard, mandated by Congress in the 2005 energy bill to gradually increase production of biofuels.

In recognition of his time in Africa, Coons was given the chairmanship of Foreign Relations’ subcommittee on the continent. He struck up a friendship with the subcommittee’s ranking Republican, Georgia’s Johnny Isakson, and they led the Senate’s effort in 2012 to formally condemn Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army for its notorious reign of killings and child abductions across central Africa. Coons also sought to warn of the need to catch up to China’s growing influence in Liberia and other African nations, telling The Associated Press in January 2012, “We’re missing an important strategic opportunity for the United States.” Later that year, he joined Arizona Republican John McCain and several other Middle East hawks in supporting U.S. action to prevent Syrian Bashar Hafez al-Assad from killing more rebels in that nation’s protracted civil war.

Coons took nothing for granted in 2014: He held a fundraiser three weeks after the 2012 election with former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. But he was never seriously targeted and prevailed easily.

Show Less
Christopher Coons Election Results
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2010 General
Christopher Coons (D)
Votes: 174,012
Percent: 56.61%
Spent: $3,852,049
Christine O'Donnell
Votes: 123,053
Percent: 40.03%
Spent: $7,539,252
Glenn Miller
Votes: 8,201
Percent: 2.67%
2010 Primary
Christopher Coons Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 70 (L) : 29 (C) 80 (L) : 17 (C) 69 (L) : 25 (C)
Social 68 (L) : 29 (C) 64 (L) : - (C) 52 (L) : - (C)
Foreign 66 (L) : 29 (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 83 (L) : 14 (C)
Composite 69.5 (L) : 30.5 (C) 85.3 (L) : 14.7 (C) 77.5 (L) : 22.5 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC140
LCV10093
CFG1214
ITIC-88
NTU1212
20112012
COC55-
ACLU-75
ACU04
ADA95100
AFSCME100-
Key Senate Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Block faith exemptions
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve gas pipeline
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve farm bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Let cyber bill proceed
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Block Gitmo transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass balanced budget amendment
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Stop EPA climate regulations
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Proceed to Cordray vote
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Require talking filibuster
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Limit Fannie/Freddie
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Ratify New START
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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