Joe Courtney was born in Hartford, Conn., and now lives in Vernon. He earned a bachelor's in history in 1975 from Tufts University and a law degree from 1978 from the University of Connecticut.
Courtney is a partner in the Vernon law firm of Flaherty, Meisler and Courtney.
He served in the Connecticut House from 1987 to 1994. In 1998, he ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor.
He was elected to the U.S. House in 2006.
Courtney is married and has two children.
Joe Courtney has seized on the production of U.S. submarines as a signature issue, advocating for funding that has benefited Navy contractor Electric Boat in Groton. He led the charge in securing funding needed to build two Virginia-class attack submarines annually beginning in 2012 and has advocated for design and engineering work on the replacement for the Ohio-class submarine at Electric Boat, which is one of the largest employers in southeastern Connecticut.
"With an unparalleled ability to produce submarines ahead of schedule and under budget and an unmatched ability to conduct top-notch repairs, the men and women of Electric Boat have earned the trust of the Navy," Courtney said when the Navy announced EB would have a role in repairing a fire-damaged submarine.
He also has advocated on a number of issues important to veterans and hosted a number of career fairs for veterans around his eastern Connecticut district in 2012.
Courtney was swept into office as Democrats took control of Congress in 2006.
In his second term, Courtney was the only member of the Connecticut delegation to oppose the $700 billion Wall Street bailout package in 2008, saying he could not support legislation that didn't directly affect home mortgage foreclosures.
"I cannot in good conscience vote to borrow $700 billion in taxpayer money for a plan that does not stem the downward spiral in the real estate market, nor invest in economic stimulus that will help struggling middle class families," he said.
In early 2009, Courtney joined other Democrats in supporting the approximately $800 billion economic stimulus package backed by President Barack Obama.
Courtney traveled to Israel in April 2010, along with other representatives and several Connecticut business owners, in order to promote Connecticut products abroad.
"Obviously, the state is struggling with a lot right now," Courtney said at the time. "If you look at where Connecticut stands relative to the rest of the country we're a high-export state. Getting out there and being visible is a way to make sure we'll be part of opportunities that exist."
While in the state Legislature, Courtney built a reputation as an authority on health care and was chairman of the House Public Health Committee.
Committee Assignments: Armed Services; Agriculture; Ethics
American Conservative Union Rating: 0
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 85
Joe Courtney won his August 2014 primary, he will face Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh in November.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on August 13, 2014.)