The 10th District had been a Republican-held seat since 1961 until Democrat Chris Carney downed incumbent Don Sherwood in 2006. Sherwood had been uncontested in previous races, but scandal helped unseat him. This year, Carney is in a heavily Republican district when Republican voters are energized against Democrat incumbents. He faces attorney Thomas A. Marino in November.
Candidates for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District (two-year term)
(This district includes parts of Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne and Wyoming counties and the cities of Carbondale and Williamsport. See a boundary map here.)
Candidate: Christopher Carney
Political experience: Currently serving as the chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Management, Investigations and Oversight, Carney has been a House member since 2007.
Professional experience: Carney is a commander in the Navy Reserve, a former senior terrorism and intelligence adviser at the Pentagon and a former associate professor of political science at Penn State.
Key issues: Carney thinks education must be reformed without unfunded mandates like No Child Left Behind. He thinks investing in infrastructure is the key to properly making sure children are ready to learn.
He is opposed to a toll for I-80, as it will stifle economic development and put too much of a burden on neighbors. Among the issues voiced on his platform, found on his website, he’s for gun rights, secure borders, and while he likes the idea of developing Marcellus Shale, has voiced concerns that drinking water contamination could be a problem unless the natural-gas industry and leaseholders are held to appropriate requirements set by the federal government to prevent contamination.
Endorsements: Carney has been endorsed by the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice, Scranton Times-Tribune, Alliance for Retired Americans, and the Sunbury Daily Item.
Chances of maintaining his seat: Carney has enough money to run a respectable re-election campaign, but Marino is nearly tapped out at the moment. Carney’s $792,891 to Marino’s $11,137, as detailed by OpenSecrets.org, means Marino needs a big cash injection from the party to be competitive, unless he taps personal funds. The race is sufficiently close for Carney to be concerned; no independent polling suggests Carney doesn’t maintain the edge in this race.
Candidate: Thomas A. Marino
Political experience: Marino became the district attorney in Lycoming County in 1991 and then was selected as a U.S. attorney in 2002.
Professional experience: Marino has worked in manufacturing before starting his law career in McNerney, Page, Vanderlin & Hall. He was also a business law attorney for DeNaples Management prior to running for office.
Key issues: Marino, according to his website, feels that foreign oil puts America at risk. Like many Pennsylvania Republicans, he feels the development of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, a natural-gas resource, holds the key to creating clean-energy jobs in the district. He is supportive of offshore drilling, nuclear power and renewable energy in general.
He wants Medicare and Social Security to become more solvent; if they aren’t, he maintains, seniors will suffer. Part of the way to achieve that, he feels, is to manage the $2 trillion federal debt. In addition to shrinking the debt, he has vowed to oppose raising the retirement age and privatizing Social Security.
Marino is pro-life and believes in a free and secret ballot for laborers.
Endorsements: Marino has been endorsed by Pennsylvania district attorneys Daniel J. Barrett of Bradford County, Edward M. Marsico, Jr.of Dauphin County, Andrew J. Jarbola of Lackawanna County, Eric Linhardt of Lycoming County, Robert W. Buehner, Jr. of Montour County, Leonard Simpson of Sullivan County, Jason J. Legg of Susquehanna County, D. Peter Johnson of Union County and Michael P. Lehutsky of Wayne County.
Chances of unseating Christopher Carney: While there has been a GOP poll suggesting Marino leads, there is nothing outside the party to suggest otherwise, and the district does favor Carney. He’s voted for the unpopular health care reform and stimulus package, but not TARP, so Carney may be vulnerable without being completely at risk. Marino will need a lot more funding. Some independent sources back his claims to show the race is competitive. Marino does stand a chance of unseating Carney, particularly given the strong demographic edge he has and the fact the Sherwood scandal is now long passed.
Key Differences between Thomas A. Marino and Christopher Carney
Jobs: Marino feels that lower taxes, reducing regulations and business red tape, and controlling the deficit is the key to job creation. Carney suggests that tax cuts are a good thing as well, primarily for small businesses and for families. He introduced the Made in America Act to prevent jobs from going overseas and to reinstate the Research and Development tax credit for American manufacturers.
Health care: Carney voted for the health care reform, arguing that doing nothing was dangerous and expensive. In his platform, he contends that many of the health care reform benefits take place immediately and that Medicare is both strengthened and protected. Marino agrees the health care system is in trouble, but he says that the current legislation puts a block between doctors and patients. He’d prefer to reform junk lawsuits and make insurance portable across state lines.
National security: If there’s anything that Marino says taxes should be spent on, it’s national security. He says military leaders are best positioned to make military decisions, not politicians, and he feels America should remain defensively strong. Carney doesn’t disagree and supported additional troops being sent to Afghanistan. He contends that President Obama put together a strong case for bolstering the current commitments in Afghanistan, with the express purpose of going after al-Qaida and the Taliban and with a narrow timeline for success.
Pennsylvania‘s 10th U.S. Congressional District
Location: The Pennsylvania 10th District is located in the extreme northeast corner of the state, bordering New York and New Jersey. The cities of Carbondale and Williamsport are in this district.
2008 results: Chris Carney beat Republican Chris Hackett 56.3 percent to 43.7 percent.
Demographics: According to the U.S. Census, 93.7 percent of the district is white, 2.4 percent black, 2.1 percent Hispanic, 0.7 percent Asian, and 0.1 percent American Indian and Alaska Native.
The Cook Partisan Index gives the Pennsylvania 10th District a rating of R+8, awarding an serious advantage to Republican voters in this district.