Russ Carnahan

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Russ Carnahan
Russ Carnahan.jpg
U.S. House, Missouri, District 3
Former member
In office
January 3, 2005-January 3, 2013
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2004
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Missouri House of Representatives from the 59th district
Bachelor'sUniversity of Missouri
J.D.University of Missouri
Date of birthJuly 10, 1958
Place of birthColumbia, Missouri
Campaign website
John Russell "Russ" Carnahan (b. July 10, 1958) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Missouri. Carnahan represented Missouri's 3rd congressional district from 2005 to 2013. He unsuccessfully ran for re-election in 2012 for the 1st congressional district seat, due to redistricting.

Carnahan filed to run for re-election in the same district as fellow incumbent Lacy Clay (D).[1] Carnahan was defeated by Clay in the Democratic primary on August 7, 2012.[2]

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Carnahan was a "rank-and-file Democrat".[3]


The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors

Carnahan was born in 1958 in Columbia, Missouri, to a family which has frequently held public office. He has received a bachelor's and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri.[4]


He worked as a private practice attorney prior to entering politics.

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Carnahan served on the following committees:[5]


Campaign themes


On his campaign website, Carnahan lists eight issues. They are:[6]

  • Energy
  • Carnahan's website says, "The United States must move towards energy independence by developing alternative fuel sources. Such a policy can begin right here in the Midwest . Russ Carnahan voted against tax credits for oil companies, and he has sponsored alternative measures that create incentives to produce alternative fuels. We need to roll back the Republican-sponsored tax-credits, worth $14 billion for Big Oil, and instead invest those resources in the America 's future. Congressman Russ Carnahan is committed to supporting research and innovation that will provide lower energy costs and long-term economic stability."
  • National Security
  • Carnahan's website says, "Carnahan is also committed to ensuring that First Responders in Missouri have the proper equipment and training should a terrorist event occur here at home. The Congressman has supported legislation to provide federal funds for First Responders, and he has also carried out an analysis of terror targets throughout the 3rd District. Russ Carnahan in committed to legislation that defends Missourians against terror threats from abroad and here at home."
  • Economy
  • Carnahan's website says, "Russ Carnahan joins labor unions, human rights groups and environmental organizations in a steadfast commitment to strengthen the US economy through support of fair trade policies. He knows that one of the most important jobs of the government is to protect every American worker's right to fair wages and benefits. Workers depend on American companies to provide jobs, healthcare and security. Likewise, the government has an important role to encourage business growth and opportunity in our region."
  • Healthcare
  • Carnahan's website says, "Congressman Carnahan is working to reform national healthcare policies and to extend coverage to the 47 million uninsured Americans and the 620,000 uninsured Missourians. Congress must redirect President Bush's tax cuts to provide basic medical services for all Americans. Russ knows that access to basic healthcare and affordable prescription drugs for every American is a fiscally and socially responsible policy."
  • Social Security
  • Carnahan's website says, "The Social Security system has worked for over 70 years and returning the country to its economic growth from the 1990's would guarantee Social Security for another century. Low growth rates would still keep Social Security solvent for decades. Russ Carnahan knows that a false crisis over Social Security is no excuse to shift benefits from the poor and middle class to the wealthy. Strong and stable Social Security is the foundation for seniors and future retirees."
  • Education
  • Carnahan's website says, "The Bush Administration's No Child Left Behind Act fails to provide the necessary funding to meet its own standards. Russ Carnahan is working hard to ensure that public schools receive the funding they need to successfully educate Missouri's students. Congress must work to create schools that prepare children for the future and fight to ensure that higher education is affordable for everyone."
  • Seniors
  • Carnahan's website says, "Russ Carnahan vows to support our seniors after the sacrifices they have made for our country. Strong and stable Social Security and Medicare programs are the foundation of Russ Carnahan’s plan for seniors. Russ favors tax credits for seniors with long-term care needs and curbing unfunded mandates on the federal level, which often cause states to dramatically increase property taxes. These skyrocketing property taxes too often hurt seniors."
  • Environment
  • Carnahan's website says, "Drilling for oil or gas in Alaska's Artic National Wildlife Refugee will have no effect on the country's dependence on foreign oil and will not reduce gas prices for consumers. Congressman Carnahan opposes this rash act and instead supports renewable energy policies that focus on conserving existing resources and finding new forms of renewable energy. He has sponsored legislation offering tax credits to both manufacturers and consumers of hybrid vehicles." [6]

Political positions

Financial Crisis

Rep. Carnahan voted for TARP.[7] According to a Gallup poll from September 13, 2010, 61% of Americans disapprove of TARP, while 37% approve.[8]

Carnahan also supported the auto bailout.[9] As of September 13, 2010: 56% of Americans disapproved of the auto bailout, while 43% supported it.[10]

In addition, Rep. Carnahan voted for the stimulus bill.[11] 57% of U.S. voters believe that the stimulus has either hurt the economy (36%) or had no impact (21%). 38% believe the stimulus helped the economy. [12]

Carnahan also voted in favor of the "Cash for Clunkers" bill.[13] According to a June 2009 Rasmussen Reports poll, 54% of likely U.S. voters opposed Cash for Clunkers, while 35% supported it.[14]

Carnahan supported the "Cap and Trade" bill.[15] Just after the bill’s passage, 42% of likely U.S. voters said that cap and trade would hurt the economy, while 19% believed it would help. 15% said that the bill would have no impact.[16]

Health care

Finally, Carnahan voted in favor of the health care reform bill.[17] 57% of likely voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care reform bill, including 46% who strongly favor repeal. 35% of likely voters oppose repeal. 51% of likely voters believe the health care reform bill will be bad for the country, while 36% believe it will be beneficial.[18]

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Carnahan 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. He was one of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[19]



Carnahan was seeking re-election in 2012. He has filed for re-election in the 1st congressional district after his present district was eliminated during redistricting. Carnahan was defeated by fellow incumbent Lacy Clay and faced candidate challenger Candice Britton in the Democratic Primary on August 7, 2012.[1][20][21]

Missouri's 1st Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngWilliam Lacy Clay Incumbent 63.3% 57,672
Russ Carnahan Incumbent 33.9% 30,911
Candice Britton 2.8% 2,566
Total Votes 91,149


On November 2, 2010, Carnahan was re-elected to the United States House for a fourth term. He defeated Ed Martin (R), Steven R. Hedrick (Libertarian), Nicholas J. ‘‘Nick Ivanovich (Constitution), and Brian Wallner (Write-in).[22]

United States House, Missouri General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRuss Carnahan Incumbent 48.9% 99,398
     Republican Ed Martin 46.7% 94,757
     Libertarian Steven R. Hedrick 2.8% 5,772
     Constitution Nicholas J. Nick Ivanovich 1.6% 3,155
     Write-in Brian Wallner 0% 3
Total Votes 203,085

Campaign donors


Breakdown of the source of Carnahan's campaign funds before the 2010 election.
Carnahan was re-elected to the U.S. House for a fourth term in 2010. His campaign committee raised a total of $2,127,173 and spent $2,276,619.[23]


Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Carnahan paid his congressional staff a total of $1,037,532 in 2011. Overall, Missouri ranked 21st in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[24]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Carnahan was one of nearly 25 percent of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Carnahan's staff was given an apparent $26,000.00 in bonus money.[25]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Carnahan's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $151,003 to $504,999. This averages out to a net worth of $328,001, which is lower than the average net worth of Democrats in 2010 of $4,465,875.[26]

Political Analysis

National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Carnahan was ranked the 105th most liberal representative during 2012.[27]


According to the data released in 2012, Russ Carnahan was ranked the 139th most liberal representative during 2011.[28]

Voting with party

November 2011

Russ Carnahan voted with the Democratic Party 93.9% of the time, which ranked 46th among the 192 House Democratic members as of November 2011.[29]


Russ Carnahan is an Eagle Scout, and is married to Debra Carnahan.

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Washington Post "Rep. Russ Carnahan files for primary against Rep. Lacy Clay in Missouri ," February 28, 2012
  2. AP Results "U.S. House in Missouri Results" Accessed August 7, 2012
  3. Gov Track "Carnahan" Accessed May 25, 2012
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "CARNAHAN, Russ, (1958 - )"
  5. Congressman Russ Carnahan, Representing the 3rd District of Missouri "Committees"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Russ Carnahan "Issues" April 21, 2012
  8. Gallup "Among Recent Bills, Financial Reform a Lone Plus for Congress," September 13, 2010
  9. US House Clerk "Roll Call 690" December 10, 2008
  10. Gallup "Among Recent Bills, Financial Reform a Lone Plus for Congress," September 13, 2010
  11. US House Clerk "Roll Call 46," January 28, 2009
  12. Rasmussen "38% Say Stimulus Plan Helped Economy, 36% Say It Hurt," August 24, 2010
  13. US House Clerk "Roll Call 314," June 9, 2009
  14. Rasmussen "54% Oppose “Cash for Clunkers” Plan To Spur Purchase of Greener Cars," June 23, 2009
  15. US House Clerk "Roll Call 477," June 26, 2009
  16. Rasmussen "42% Say Climate Change Bill Will Hurt The Economy," June 30, 2009
  17. US House Clerk "Roll Call 165," March 21, 2010
  18. Rasmussen "61% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law," September 20, 2010
  19. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  20. Ladue-Frontenac Patch "Russ Carnahan Says He'll Seek Re-Election in 2012 Accessed January 21, 2012]
  21. AP Results "U.S. House in Missouri Results" Accessed August 7, 2012
  22. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  23. Open Secrets "Russ Carnahan 2010 Election Data," Accessed November 7, 2011
  24. LegiStorm, "Russ Carnahan," Accessed October 8, 2012
  25. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  26., "Russ Carnahan (D-MO), 2010," Accessed October 8, 2012
  27. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  28. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  29. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Dick Gephardt
United States House of Representatives - Missouri District 3
Succeeded by
Blaine Luetkemeyer-
Preceded by
Ron Auer
Missouri House of Representatives - District 59
Succeeded by
Jeanette Mott Oxford