GREENWICH, Conn. -- Happy birthday to Greenwich’s Christopher Andrew "Chris" Coons!
Coons, who was born in Greenwich, turns 51 on Tuesday. The U.S. senator from Delaware was born Sept. 9, 1963, in Greenwich.
Coons worked in Washington, D.C., for the Investor Responsibility Research Center, where he wrote a book on South Africa and the U.S. divestment movement. He then worked as a volunteer for the South African Council of Churches and as a relief worker in Kenya before returning to the U.S. to work for the Coalition for the Homeless in New York.
He clerked for Judge Jane Richards Roth on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. After returning to Delaware in 1996, Coons began his eight-year career as in-house counsel for W.L. Gore & Associates. The Newark-based company makes Gore-Tex fabrics and other high-tech materials.
Coons became involved in politics working on behalf of Republican politicians, first for Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign in 1980 and then for Bill Roth's Senate campaign in 1982.
His political career began in earnest on the New Castle County Council in 2000, where he served as council president. He was elected county executive in 2004 and served for six years. There he balanced the county budget with a surplus in fiscal year 2010 by cutting spending and raising taxes, and the county maintained a AAA bond rating.
He won the 2010 special election against the Republican candidate Christine O'Donnell for the U.S. Senate seat.
He is running for a first full term in 2014 and serves on the Appropriations, Budget, Foreign Relations and Judiciary committees, chairing the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs and the Judiciary Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts.
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