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Difference between revisions of "Chris Coons"

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(Senate Foreign Relations Committee Syria authorization)
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===Specific votes===
===Specific votes===
====Senate Foreign Relations Committee Syria authorization====
====Senate Foreign Relations Committee Syria authorization====
: ''See also: [[United States involvement in Syria]]''
{{Dem Foreign Relations Committee Yes|Name=Coons}}
{{Dem Foreign Relations Committee Yes|Name=Coons}}

Revision as of 10:16, 6 September 2013

Chris Coons
Chris Coons.jpg
U.S. Senate, Delaware
In office
November 15, 2010-present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 5
PredecessorEdward Kaufman (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First elected2010
Next general November 4, 2014
Campaign $$3,852,049
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
New Castle County Executive
New Castle Council President
High schoolTower Hill School
Bachelor'sAmherst (1985)
Master'sYale Divinity School (1992)
J.D.Yale Law School (1992)
Date of birthSeptember 9, 1963
Place of birthGreenwich, Connecticut
Net worth$4,893,080
Office website
Campaign website
Christopher Andrew "Chris" Coons (b. September 9, 1963 in Greenwich, Connecticut) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Delaware. Coons was first elected to the Senate in 2010 in a special election against Christine O'Donnell.

Coons was appointed to the Appropriations Committee, one of the most powerful committees in Congress on June 20, 2013.[2] The appointment makes Coons the first Delawarean to serve on the committee in 40 years.[2]

Coons previously served as the New Castle County Executive from 2000 to 2004 and as the New Castle Council President from 2004 to 2010.[3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Coons is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Coons grew up in Hockessin, Delaware. He graduated from the Tower Hill School and then Amherst College in 1985 with a B.A. in chemistry and political science. In 1983, Chris Coons was awarded the Truman Scholarship. During his junior year of college, Coons studied abroad at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. He earned a M.A.R. from Yale Divinity School and a J.D. from Yale Law School. [4]


Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Coons serves on the following Senate committees[5]:


Source: U.S. Senate[6]


Specific votes

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Syria authorization

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Yea3.png On September 4, 2013, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved an authorization for President Obama to use limited force against Syria. It was approved by a 10-7 vote.[7][8]

The vote came after a three-hour briefing with top Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.[7]

Of the nine Democratic members and eight Republican members that made up the committee, seven Democrats and three Republicans voted in favor, while five Republicans and two Democrats opposed the authorization.[9] A single "present" vote was cast by Ed Markey (D). Coons was one of the seven Democrats who approved the authorization.[10]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Coons voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[11]



See also: United States Senate elections in Delaware, 2014

Coons ran for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2014.


On November 2, 2010, Coons won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Christine O'Donnell (R), Glenn A. Miller (I), James W. Rash, Jr. (L), Maurice F. Bourgeois (I), and Samtra Devard (I) in the general election.[12]

U.S. Senate, Delaware Special General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngChris A. Coons Incumbent 56.6% 174,012
     Republican Christine O'Donnell 40% 123,053
     Independent Party of Delaware Glenn A. Miller 2.7% 8,201
     Libertarian James W. Rash, Jr. 0.7% 2,101
     Independent Maurice F. Bourgeois 0% 25
     Independent Samtra Devard 0% 10
Total Votes 307,402

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Coons is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Coons raised a total of $3,852,049 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 3, 2013.[13]

Chris Coons's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (Delaware) Won $3,852,049
Grand Total Raised $3,852,049


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Coons's reports.[14]

Chris Coons (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[15]5/10/2013$806,862.07$4,644,523.61$(101,023.10)$1,170,362.58
July Quarterly[16]7/15/2013$1,170,362.58$1,131,485.91$(297,119.67)$2,004,728.82
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Coons's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Coons won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Coons's campaign committee raised a total of $3,852,049 and spent $3,505,975 .[17]


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Coons is a "rank-and-file Democrat," as of June 19, 2013.[18]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[19]

Coons most often votes with:

Coons least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Coons missed 2 of 629 roll call votes from Nov 2010 to Mar 2013. This amounts to 0.03%, which is better than the median of 1.7% among currently serving senators as of March 2013.[20]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Coons paid his congressional staff a total of $2,065,764 in 2011. He ranks fourth on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranks 16th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Delaware ranks 39th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[21]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Coons' net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $2,781,063 and $7,095,576. That averages to $4,893,080, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2011 of $20,795,450. His average net worth decreased by 7.35% from 2010.[22]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Coons' net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $3,021,182 and $7,541,174. That averages to $5,281,178, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.[23]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Coons ranked 11th in the liberal rankings in 2012.[24]


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Coons ranked 21st in the liberal rankings among U.S. senators.[25]

Voting with party


Chris Coons voted with the Democratic Party 92.9% of the time, which ranked 34th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[26]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Chris + Coons + Delaware + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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A longtime New Castle County resident, Chris grew up in the Pike Creek and Hockessin areas and lives in Wilmington with his wife, Annie, and their three children, Michael, Jack, and Maggie.[27]

External links


  1. Politics Daily "What Is Christopher Coons' Religion?" Accessed October 12, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 Delaware Online "Sen. Chris Coons appointed to powerful Appropriations Committee" Accessed June 20, 2013
  3. Project Votesmart "Chris Coons" Accessed June 19, 2013
  4. Chris Coons, U.S. Senator for Delaware "Meet Chris Coons" Accessed October 12, 2011
  5. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  6. Erickson, Nancy, ed (2011). Committee and Subcommittee Assignments for the One Hundred Twelfth Congress. United States Government Printing Office. Accessed October 12, 2011
  7. 7.0 7.1 Politico, "Senate panel approves Syria measure," accessed September 5, 2013
  8. USA Today, "Senate committee approves Syria attack resolution," accessed September 5, 2013
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named syriacommitteevote
  10. Politico, "How Senate Foreign Relations Committee members voted on Syria," accessed September 5, 2013
  11. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  12. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  13. Open Secrets "Chris Coons" Accessed April 3, 2013
  14. Federal Election Commission "Chris Coons 2014 Summary reports," Accessed July 24, 2013
  15. Federal Election Commission "April Quarterly" Accessed July 26, 2013
  16. Federal Election Commission "July Quarterly" Accessed July 26, 2013
  17. Open Secrets "Chris Coons 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 7, 2011
  18. Gov Track "Chris Coons," Accessed June 19, 2013
  19. OpenCongress, "Rep. Chris Coons," Accessed August 2, 2013
  20. GovTrack, "Chris Coons," Accessed March 29, 2013
  21. LegiStorm "Chris Coons"
  22., "Chris Coons, (D-CT), 2011"
  23., "Coons, (D-Del), 2010"
  24. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  25. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  26. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  27. Chris Coons, U.S. Senator for Delaware "Meet Chris Coons" Accessed October 12, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Ted Kaufman
U.S. Senate-Delaware
Succeeded by