John Carney grew up in Claymont, Del., and lives in Wilmington. He earned a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Delaware.
Carney, an All-Ivy League football player at Dartmouth, coached football and lacrosse for several years, including coaching freshman football while at the University of Delaware.
After working three years as associate director of the Catholic Youth Organization, Carney began his political career in 1987 as a staff assistant for Sen. Joe Biden. He later served as chief administrative officer for New Castle County, the most populous of Delaware's three counties and a Democratic stronghold. He then went to work for Gov. Thomas Carper, first as deputy chief of staff, then as state finance secretary.
He was elected lieutenant governor in 2000 and re-elected in 2004. He was elected to Congress in 2010.
Carney and his wife, Tracey, have two sons.
John Carney has worked to forge bipartisan relationships during his freshman term in the U.S. House, but has rarely strayed from the Democratic Party's ranks.
Upon taking office in 2011, Carney joined the New Democrat Coalition, a 43-member bloc of moderate lawmakers, and formed a bipartisan breakfast group with Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Renacci. He was one of 36 House members recognized in 2012 by the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan group that advocates debt reduction. Nevertheless, he has voted in support of raising the debt ceiling and extending the payroll tax cut, which raised the deficit by another $93 billion.
Carney was among a handful of Democrats who voted with Republicans in 2011 to end what he said was an ineffective Federal Housing Administration program to help homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth. The White House threatened to veto the bill if the Senate passed it.
He also co-sponsored legislation with Tennessee Republican Stephen Fincher to reduce the cost of going public for small and medium-sized companies. That bill was incorporated into the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act signed by President Barack Obama in 2012. Another bill signed into law in 2012 included provisions from bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Carney to avert prescription drug shortages.
Carney voted for the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill even though he strongly opposed a provision requiring the United States to keep 68,000 troops in Afghanistan through the end of 2014. In 2011, he successfully sponsored an amendment to an intelligence agency funding bill stressing that railway transportation should be included in security plans for the intelligence agencies.
He announced his 2010 congressional campaign soon after an unsuccessful bid in the 2008 Democratic gubernatorial primary. The decision was not surprising, given that Carney has spent virtually his entire adult life in politics, working his way up through the Delaware Democratic Party for more than 20 years.
After losing the 2008 primary, Carney took a job leading a startup firm whose subsidiaries included DelaWind, a company seeking to build turbines for a planned wind farm off the Delaware coast. He then sought $1.4 million in economic aid for DelaWind from state economic development officials, who subsequently recommended a taxpayer-backed loan of $350,000, most of it for personnel costs.
As a congressional candidate, Carney said the best way to revive America's manufacturing base is to invest in renewable energy technology. In 2011, he joined in urging the Obama administration to make Delaware's planned offshore wind farm a high priority for expedited permitting. The project was shelved a few months later because of a lack of financing.
As lieutenant governor, Carney was perhaps best known for promoting wellness initiatives encouraging people to live healthier lifestyles. He sat on several boards and commissions, including the Delaware Cancer Consortium, a panel charged with finding ways to reduce the state's cancer incidence and mortality rates. He remained with the consortium after being elected to Congress.
Committee Assignments: Financial Services
American Conservative Union Rating: 0
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 85
John Carney won his September 2014 primary, he will face Rose Izzo in November.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on September 10, 2014.)