Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: May 20, 1956, Wilmington, DE

Home: Wilmington, DE

Education: Dartmouth Col., B.A. 1978; U. of DE, M.P.A. 1987.

Professional Career: Staff asst., Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., 1986-89; dep. chief admin. officer, New Castle Cnty. Exec., 1989-94; dep. chief of staff, Gov. Thomas Carper, D-Del., 1994-97; pres., COO, Transformative Technologies, 2009-10.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Roman Catholic

Family: Married (Tracey Quillen) , 2 children

John Carney, elected to succeed nine-term Republican Rep. Michael Castle in 2010, is a centrist Democrat with an unusual devotion to bipartisanship. Not long after taking office, he co-founded a policy group of Democrats and Republicans to calmly discuss finding common ground, and the group has gotten some results.

Carney, the second of nine children born to two teachers, has lived in Wilmington for most of his life. He was careful to stress his humble upbringing and the fact that he, his wife, and their two children live in a modest row house. Still, Carney has spent nearly his entire adult life in public office, except for brief stints as president and chief operating officer of Transformative Technologies, a Delaware green technology firm, and as executive vice president of a wind farm start-up called DelaWind. After getting a degree in English at Dartmouth College and a master’s degree at the University of Delaware, Carney went to work as an aide to Joe Biden, then a Democratic senator from Delaware. In the 1990s, Carney became a top aide to then Gov. Thomas Carper, now a U.S. senator. Carney was also the state secretary of finance under Carper from 1997 to 2000. That year, he won the first of two terms as Delaware’s lieutenant governor. In 2008, Carney tried to move up to the top job but lost a high-profile primary against Jack Markell for governor. Markell went on to win.

His track record in office earned him the scorn of tea party activists who labeled him a “career politician” in his campaign against Republican Glen Urquhart for Delaware’s at-large seat in the House. Carney faced Urquhart in the contest to succeed Castle, a Republican moderate, after Castle gave up the post to run what ultimately was a losing bid for the Senate. Carney ran on his support for the development of renewable energy technology and green jobs and his opposition to oil drilling off the Delaware shoreline.

Urquhart, a Rehoboth Beach developer, lambasted him for collecting government paychecks rather than creating jobs in the private sector. Urquhart also called attention to Carney’s attempt to lobby the state for money in 2009, when he worked for DelaWind. But left-leaning Delaware was skittish about some of Urquhart’s conservative positions. He said he would vote to repeal the health care law passed by Congress in 2010 and to abolish the departments of Energy and Education. The Republican’s social agenda and lack of polish also probably hurt him: In widely circulated comments, he compared liberals to Nazis while claiming that Hitler, not Thomas Jefferson, first coined the phrase “separation of church and state.”

Carney declared Urquhart too “radical” and “extreme” to represent the state. He also favored the Democrats’ financial regulation bill, a controversial stance in a state heavily reliant on finance and corporate headquarters. Carney had the upper hand in the money chase. He raised over $2 million, while Urquhart had $1.3 million, $1 million of it from his own pocket. On Election Day, Carney prevailed with 57% of the vote to 41% for his opponent, a rare instance of a Democrat seizing Republican territory in the GOP-friendly year of 2010.

In the House, Carney became the first freshman Democrat to have an amendment pass successfully when he added a provision to a bill in May 2011 making rail security a priority for U.S. intelligence agencies. He was assigned to the Financial Services Committee and struck up a friendship with fellow freshman James Renacci, a Republican from Ohio, whom he admired for having a common sense approach to problems. They started a breakfast group that eventually grew to 14 lawmakers. “If our group can sit down, hear each other out, and come up with solutions we all agree on, that says something,” Carney told National Journal in September 2011. “Can we move the needle nationally? I don’t know, but it has to start somewhere.”

Carney joined another GOP freshman, Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, in drafting legislation to make it easier for small- and medium-sized companies to undertake an initial public offering and become a public company. Their measure passed the committee on a 54-1 vote in February 2012 and became law two months later after House Republicans included it in their job creation agenda. Meanwhile, Carney also helped lead a bipartisan effort to beseech President Barack Obama to consider a six-year transportation reauthorization bill and introduced his own proposal for a balanced budget amendment, a concept normally pushed by Republicans.

With Delaware favorite son Biden on the ballot on the 2012 presidential ticket, Carney was never in any political danger in his reelection bid that year. He raised seven times as much as Republican Tom Kovach, the New Castle County Council president, and won with 64% of the vote.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4165

(202) 225-2291

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1406
Washington, DC 20515-0801

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4165

(202) 225-2291

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1406
Washington, DC 20515-0801

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-4165

(202) 225-2291

233 North King Street Suite 200
Wilmington, DE 19801-2521

DISTRICT OFFICE

(302) 691-7333

(302) 438-1950

233 North King Street Suite 200
Wilmington, DE 19801-2521

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-4165

(202) 225-2291

33 The Circle
Georgetown, DE 19947-1593

DISTRICT OFFICE

(302) 854-0667

(302) 854-0669

33 The Circle
Georgetown, DE 19947-1593

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 2162
Wilmington, DE 19899

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-4165

(202) 225-2291

PO Box 2162
Wilmington, DE 19899

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Sheila Grant
Chief of Staff; Acting Legislative Director

Betsey Coulbourn
Legislative Correspondent

Aerospace

Betsey Coulbourn
Legislative Correspondent

Agriculture

Drew Slater
County Coordinator

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Animal Rights

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Arts

Albert Shields
Press and Policy Advisor

Banking

Molly Magarik
State Director

Budget

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Campaign

Betsey Coulbourn
Legislative Correspondent

Education

Elizabeth Connolly
Senior Legislative Assistant

Albert Shields
Press and Policy Advisor

Gita Miller
Legislative Correspondent

Energy

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Environment

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Finance

Elizabeth Connolly
Senior Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Francesca Amodeo
Communications Director

Govt Ops

Larry Morris
Constituent Services Liaison

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Grants

Albert Shields
Press and Policy Advisor

Nicole Pender
Grants Coordinator; Field Representative

Gun Issues

Gita Miller
Legislative Correspondent

Health

Elizabeth Connolly
Senior Legislative Assistant

Gita Miller
Legislative Correspondent

Homeland Security

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Housing

Elizabeth Connolly
Senior Legislative Assistant

Albert Shields
Press and Policy Advisor

Human Rights

Sheila Grant
Chief of Staff; Acting Legislative Director

Immigration

Larry Morris
Constituent Services Liaison

Gita Miller
Legislative Correspondent

Intelligence

Francesca Amodeo
Communications Director

Judiciary

Betsey Coulbourn
Legislative Correspondent

Labor

Molly Magarik
State Director

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Medicare

Kristy Huxhold
Scheduler; Executive Assistant

Drew Slater
County Coordinator

Military

Francesca Amodeo
Communications Director

Molly Magarik
State Director

Sarah Venables
Caseworker

Recreation

Betsey Coulbourn
Legislative Correspondent

Science

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Small Business

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Social Security

Francesca Amodeo
Communications Director

Larry Morris
Constituent Services Liaison

Tax

Elizabeth Connolly
Senior Legislative Assistant

Kristy Huxhold
Scheduler; Executive Assistant

Technology

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Telecommunications

Gita Miller
Legislative Correspondent

Trade

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Transportation

Connor Hamburg
Legislative Aide

Veterans

Francesca Amodeo
Communications Director

Sarah Venables
Caseworker

Welfare

Gita Miller
Legislative Correspondent

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
John Carney
Votes: 249,933
Percent: 64.41%
Thomas Kovach
Votes: 129,757
Percent: 33.44%
2012 PRIMARY
John Carney
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
John Carney
Votes: 173,543
Percent: 56.78%
Glen Urquhart
Votes: 125,442
Percent: 41.04%
2010 PRIMARY
John Carney
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (57%)

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