Path To Power
In a struggle he hopes many current Americans can relate to, Coons' family declared bankruptcy in the mid-1970s after his dad, a food-industry executive, ran into financial problems.
"As it is for any family who goes through losing their home these days, it is a painful and difficult thing to go through, and it is a hard thing to talk about," said Coons, adding that his father "absolutely did his best."
Coons is a mainstream Democrat, who touts a 100 percent rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) on his web site and supports President Obama's 2010 health-reform overhaul.
A former Republican, he became a Democrat after seeing the inequalities of income distribution during a trip to Africa in college and now believes in regulated markets.
Coons was recruited into the Senate race by Vice President Joe Biden and his son, one-time Senate prospect and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (D). He was also encouraged by Delaware native and 2008 Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.