Chris Carney

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Chris Carney
Chris Carney.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 10th district
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Don Sherwood
Succeeded by Tom Marino
Personal details
Born (1959-03-02) March 2, 1959 (age 56)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jennifer Carney
Residence Dimock Township, Pennsylvania
Alma mater Cornell College, University of Nebraska, University of Wyoming
Occupation Commander in the U.S. Navy, College Professor
Religion Roman Catholic[citation needed]
Awards Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal (3)
Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Naval Rifle Marksman Ribbon
Naval Pistol Expert Medal
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Commander US Navy O5 insignia.svg
Unit Noble Eagle
Defense Intelligence Agency
The Pentagon (advisor)
Battles/wars Operation Enduring Freedom

Christopher P. "Chris" Carney (born March 2, 1959) is an American politician who was the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district from 2007 to 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Carney is also an associate professor of political science at Penn State Worthington Scranton, where he has taught since 1992. In 2011, he was appointed as director of homeland security and policy strategy for BAE Systems.[1]

Early life, education and career[edit]

Carney grew up in Coggon, Iowa and earned his bachelor's degree from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, received his masters from the University of Wyoming, and completed his Ph.D in political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Carney has been an associate professor of political science at Penn State Worthington Scranton since 1992.

From 2002 to 2004, Carney served as a counterterrorism analyst for the Bush administration, under Douglas Feith in the Office of Special Plans and at the Defense Intelligence Agency, researching links between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.[2]

Military service[edit]

A Commander (select) in the United States Naval Reserve, Carney served multiple tours overseas and was activated for operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle. He was direct commissioned as an Ensign in 1995. He served as Senior Terrorism and Intelligence Advisor at the Pentagon.

He is the recipient of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Joint Service Achievement Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. His awards also include the Naval Rifle Marksman ribbon and the Naval Pistol Expert Medal.

In September 2007, Congressman Carney went on active duty with the Navy for his two weeks of service as a Lt. Commander in the reserves. On active duty, Carney will be working on the "Predator" project near Norfolk, VA.[3]

In July 2008, Carney was promoted from Lieutenant Commander to Commander (select) in the Naval Reserve. He was one of just two members of the House to serve in the military reserves.[4]

During his unsuccessful 2010 re-election campaign Carney revealed that he had served as an interrogator at Guantanamo.[5][6] Carol Rosenberg, writing in the Miami Herald, wrote that although Carney had traveled with fellow Congressional Representatives on fact-finding trips to Guantanamo, he had never informed them that he himself had served there.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Committee assignments[edit]

In January 2007, Carney was named Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight, a surprising achievement for a freshman Congressman.[9][10]

Political positions[edit]

Social Security[edit]

While opposing proposals to privatize Social Security, he said he is open to the idea of adding private accounts in addition to (not at the expense of) traditional defined benefits.[11]


He supports federal investment in stem cell research,[12] and is an advocate of universal healthcare.[11]

Gun Rights[edit]

He supports gun rights[13]


In 2009, Carney voted for H.R 2187, the 21st Century Green Schools Act, to make grants to states for the modernization, renovation, or repair of public schools, including early learning facilities and charter schools, to make them safe, healthy, high-performing, and technologically up-to-date.[14]

War in Iraq[edit]

Carney made change of direction in Iraq policy a cornerstone of his 2006 campaign, often decrying the Bush Administration's war policies.[15] He voted to reauthorize funding for military action in Iraq with H.R. 2206. In 2007, he voted against H.R. 2956, which would have required the removal of all US personnel from Iraq within only 120 days.[16] He stated that that since the US was already at war in Iraq, the top priority should be winning the war.[17]

2008 Financial Crisis[edit]

Carney voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008[18] and voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[19]

Health Care[edit]

Congressman Carney also voted for the Affordable Health Care for America Act[20] as well as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[21]

Political campaigns[edit]


When Carney entered the race for the 10th, he was initially considered an underdog against Republican incumbent Don Sherwood. The 10th had been in Republican hands since 1961. The four-term incumbent had barely defeated Democrat Patrick Casey in his bid to succeed popular 36-year incumbent Joe McDade in 1998, and narrowly defeated Casey in a 2000 rematch. In hopes of protecting Sherwood, the Republican-controlled state legislature made the 10th significantly more rural and Republican after the 2000 census, and the Democrats hadn't even put up a candidate in the last two elections.

However, revelations of Sherwood's five-year-long extramarital affair with a woman more than 30 years his junior, along with allegations of abuse, severely hampered Sherwood's reelection chances in the 10th, which has a strong social conservative tint. Carney also garnered the endorsement of 30 labor unions.[22] In the election, Carney defeated Sherwood, 53% to 47%.

During the campaign, Carney raised money with a wide-variety of supporters including Sen. Barack Obama, Sen Joe Biden,[23] Rep. Jay Inslee,[24] Rep. Jack Murtha,[25] and Richard Perle, former Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee[26] Douglas Feith, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, congratulated Carney on Election Night.[17]


Carney was one of the few incumbent Democrats to be rated vulnerable in this election cycle, because he was a freshman running in a strongly Republican district (its Cook Partisan Voting Index was R+8). The National Republican Congressional Committee advertised for the Hackett, while the Service Employees International Union and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee—which were among those organizations identifying Carney as especially vulnerable—advertised on his behalf, placing special emphasis on his vote for an increase in the federal minimum wage to $7.25 by 2009, a measure passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by Bush on May 24, 2007.

Since the summer of 2007, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report and a number of other political analysts listed Carney's District as "slightly" leaning Democratic in 2008, and according to the FEC Carney has raised over $500,000 towards his re-election in the first six months of 2007. Public opinion polls conducted in January 2008 indicated a lead over Hackett (then a candidate in the GOP primary), by significant double-digit margins and even a majority of registered Republicans, 53 percent, approve of Carney's job performance. The candidates differed over Social Security. Carney opposed Bush's plan for privatization, while Hackett supported it.[27]

In the April 22 Pennsylvania primaries, enormous Democratic voter turnout, most certainly due to the presidential race, led Carney to earn over 70,000 votes in the congressional primary, despite running unopposed—more than the combined vote in the Republican primary.

Chris Carney was a superdelegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He vowed that he would "wait and see how his district votes", hinting that he would likely issue an endorsement after the April 22 Pennsylvania primary for the candidate that wins by a "landslide"—if a huge victory by either occurs—in his overwhelmingly conservative district in which registered Democrats are few compared to Republicans. Another northeastern Pennsylvania Congressman, Paul Kanjorski, had long endorsed and actively campaigned for Clinton, alongside a number of other Democratic politicians in the state, including Governor Ed Rendell, while U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr. was Obama's most significant supporter. Carney endorsed Clinton on May 9 after she carried his district in the Democratic primary by a whopping 70%-30% margin.

On November 4, 2008, Carney defeated Chris Hackett 56% to 44%.[28]


Carney was challenged by Republican nominee Tom Marino. In the 2010 election, Marino defeated Carney, 55-45%.

Personal life[edit]

Carney lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their five children in Dimock Township in Susquehanna County.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Journal (2011). Former Lawmaker Lands Defense Contracting Job. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ [2][dead link]
  4. ^ Representative Christopher P. Carney, Proudly Serving the People of the 10th District of Pennsylvania[dead link]
  5. ^ Carol Rosenberg (2010-11-18). "Congressman interrogated Guantánamo detainees". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2010-11-21. So it came as a surprise last month when a Pennsylvania congressman seeking reelection campaigned as the only member of the U.S. Congress to have interrogated a Guantánamo detainee. 
  6. ^ Andrew M. Seder (2010-10-28). "Carney touts record, trust issue". Times Leader. Archived from the original on 2010-11-21. He said he is the only member of Congress to have personally interrogated a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, he’s been to the Mexico/U.S. border to see how the border surveillance system operates and he has participated in Predator and Reaper drone missions. 
  7. ^ "Committee on Homeland Security". Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  8. ^ House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee: About the Committee[dead link]
  9. ^ [3][dead link]
  10. ^ "Committee on Homeland Security". 2007-01-18. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  11. ^ a b "Project Vote Smart - Representative Carney's issue positions (Political Courage Test". Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  12. ^ "Sherwood protests stem-cell criticism 10/12/06". Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  13. ^ "On The Issues - Representative Carney's issue positions". Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  14. ^ "On The Issues - Representative Carney's issue positions". 
  15. ^ "Chris Carney for Congress website". Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  16. ^ "Chris Carney votes". Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  17. ^ a b Risen, James (November 28, 2006). "A New House Democrat With an Insiders' View of Iraq". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Bailout Roll Call". 2008-10-03. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Stimulus Roll Call". 2009-01-28. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Health Reform Roll Call". 2009-11-07. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  21. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 165". 21 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  22. ^ "Endorsements | Chris Carney for Congress". Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  23. ^ "The Pennsylvania Progressive: Carney/Biden Event". 2006-10-10. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  24. ^ [4][dead link]
  25. ^ Freyvogel, Colleen (2006-08-03). "The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA - Under fire: Murtha defends comments about war, troops". Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  26. ^ Spiegel, Peter (November 4, 2006). "Perle says he should not have backed Iraq war". Los Angeles Times. 
  27. ^ Jones, Coulter (September 30, 2008). "Carney, Hackett differ on privatizing Social Security". The Citizens' Voice. 
  28. ^ "Commonwealth of PA - Elections Information". 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Chris Carney at Wikimedia Commons

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Don Sherwood
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by
Tom Marino