Joe Donnelly was born in Massapequa, N.Y., and now resides in Granger, Ind. He attended the University of Notre Dame where he earned a bachelor's in government in 1977 and a law degree in 1981.
Donnelly has worked as a lawyer and managed a small business. In 1997, he started his own business in Mishawaka, a company that sells printing-related materials.
He served on the Indiana State Election Board from 1988 to 1989, and spent five years on the school board for Marian High School.
Donnelly was elected to the U.S. House in 2006, one of three Indiana Democrats that year to unseat Republican incumbents.
He and his wife, Jill, have two children.
After Republican voters ousted longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in the 2012 Republican primary, Joe Donnelly, a conservative Democratic U.S. representative, became the best chance for Democrats to win back one of Indiana's Senate seats.
Donnelly was quiet through much of the May 2012 Republican primary battle, which was won by Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Shortly after the primary, Donnelly emerged with a campaign focused on restoring Indiana's base of manufacturing and braced by calls for investment in the state's ethanol fuel industry.
Republicans have spent their time tying Donnelly to President Barack Obama. Donnelly supported the 2010 health care reform bill, saying it would "level the playing field between Hoosier families and insurance companies."
He says the legislation will cover people with pre-existing conditions while not increasing the national debt. He opposes federal funding for abortion.
As a congressman, in February 2009 Donnelly helped win federal tax breaks for recreational vehicle buyers amid the recession. His district includes part of Elkhart County, which had an unemployment rate of 18.3 percent in January 2009 because of layoffs in the RV industry.
Donnelly voted in 2008 in favor of the federal bailout of the financial industry, although he said he was less than thrilled with the legislation. "While the bill that the House of Representatives received from the Senate is far from perfect, it is needed to stabilize our economy and spare Main Street," he said.
Backlash against Republicans in 2006 helped Donnelly get elected to the House. "I want to bring change and new direction to where our country is going," he said during his campaign.
Donnelly criticized President George W. Bush's Iraq strategy and said the U.S. military's role should be reduced.
Donnelly visited the U.S.-Mexico border in 2008, saying the trip "further proved to me that our system of immigration is broken." He supports increasing the number of border patrol agents and says illegal immigrants should have to apply for citizenship under the current system.
He gave the weekly Democratic Radio Address in March 2008, focusing on energy independence. He said his constituents feel the negative effects of energy policy that favor big oil companies. "Our current energy policy is bad for working families, bad for the American economy and a threat to our national security," he said.
Donnelly supports tax incentives for biofuels and would like to see more clean technologies for coal, which makes up the vast majority of energy in Indiana.
He is anti-abortion, opposes same sex marriage and is a member of the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition.
Committee Assignments: Veterans' Affairs; Financial Services
American Conservative Union Rating: 28
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 60
Joe Donnelly is not up for re-election in 2014.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on June 8, 2014.)