New Members 2010 - Delaware


House AL


Birthdate: Sept. 9, 1963
Birthplace: Greenwich, Conn.
Residence: Wilmington, Del.
Occupation: Attorney
Education: B.A., Amherst; J.D., Yale Law School
Previous office held: New Castle County Executive
Family: Wife Annie, three children

After Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell defeated longtime Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware’s GOP Senate primary, the road to Washington became much smoother for Chris Coons. The New Castle County Executive didn’t outraise O’Donnell, thanks to attention from conservative activists nationwide, but he won an easy victory in November to the fill the seat of Vice President Joe Biden. 

After graduating from Yale Law School, Coons clerked on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and later returned to Delaware to serve as counsel to Gore & Associates, the Delaware-based company that manufactures Gore-Tex fabrics. In 1980, Coons worked on Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign before becoming a Democrat in college. He was elected to the New Castle County council as a Democrat in 2000 and ran successfully for New Castle County Executive in 2004.


Birthdate: May 20, 1956
Birthplace: Wilmington, Del.
Residence: Wilmington, Del.
Occupation: Public servant
Education: B.A., Dartmouth College; M.A., University of Delaware
Previous office held: Secretary of finance, state of Delaware, 1997-2000; Lieutenant governor, 2001-2009
Family: Wife, Tracey; two sons

John Carney, 54, takes over the Delaware at-large House seat long held by Rep. Mike Castle (R), who left to mount his unsuccessful bid for Senate. 

A former high school and college football star, Carney worked his way up the state government hierarchy in the 1990s, eventually serving as secretary of finance under then-Gov. Tom Carper. In the midst of two terms as lieutenant governor, Carney ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2008, narrowly losing to the eventual winner, Jack Markell. 

In the 2010 House race, Carney played up his biography and support for clean energy and cancer research while tagging his Republican opponent, Glen Urquhart, as an extreme conservative.