At a Glance
- Career History:
Practicing attorney (1978-2006);
House of Representatives (1986-1994)
- Birthday: April 6, 1953
- Hometown: Hartford, Conn.
- Alma Mater: Tufts University, B.A., 1975; University of Connecticut, J.D., 1978
- Spouse: Audrey Courtney
- Religion: Catholic
Education and Labor Committee
Armed Services Committee
- DC Office: 215 Cannon House Office Building, 202-225-2076
- District Offices: Norwich, 860-886-0139; Enfield, 860-741-6011
- Web site
Path To Power
The son of a formerFBI agent, Courtney was raised in West Hartford. He graduated from Tufts University in 1975 before obtaining a J.D. from the University of Connecticut Law School in 1978. He first worked as a public defender before entering private practice in 1981.
In 1986, he was elected state representative in Vernon. He gained a reputation as the legislature's leading voice on issues relating to health care. He chaired the Human Services Committee from 1989 to 1992 and the Public Health Committee from 1993 to 1994, and he also headed Connecticut's Blue Ribbon Commission on Universal Health Insurance - positions from which he championed a number of bills reforming the state health-care system.
Courtney's district contains a U.S. Navy submarine base and a major construction site used by the Electric Boat Corporation to build submarines. As such, the Democrat has walked in Simmons' footsteps to become a leading advocate for submarine construction, which he argues is essential for his district's economy.
Helped by his seat on the House Armed Services Committee, Courtney has worked closely with Electric Boat management and fellow Connecticut lawmakers to achieve his goal: Double the production of submarines from one to two a year. In the fall of 2007, Courtney and his allies convincedCongress to include $588 million more for submarines than the Pentagon wanted in the 2008 defense bill.
Courtney is a member of the New Democratic Coalition, a group of centrist lawmakers that provides him an important circle of allies; four of Connecticut's five representatives belong to this caucus.