André Carson

André Carson

US Representative André Carson's official photograph, 2009
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 7th district
Assumed office
March 11, 2008
Preceded by Julia Carson
Member of the
Indianapolis City-County Council
from the 15th district
In office
October 2007  March 13, 2008
Preceded by Patrice Abduallah
Succeeded by Doris Minton-McNeill
Personal details
Born (1974-10-16) October 16, 1974
Indianapolis, Indiana
Political party Democratic
Residence Indianapolis, Indiana
Alma mater Concordia University (WI)
Indiana Wesleyan University
Profession Law enforcement officer
Religion Islam[1]
Website Congressman André Carson

André D. Carson (born October 16, 1974) is the U.S. Representative for Indiana's 7th congressional district, serving since a special election in 2008. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

He is the grandson of his predecessor, former U.S. Representative Julia Carson (1938–2007).[2][3] Carson is the second Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress, following Keith Ellison in 2006.

Early life, education, and career

André Carson was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. At a young age, Carson's interest in public service was shaped by his grandmother, the late Congresswoman Julia Carson. Carson grew up in a rough neighborhood, and he credits that experience for shaping his policy views on issues like education, public safety and economic opportunity.[4]

Following his career in law enforcement, Carson was a marketing specialist for Cripe Architects + Engineers in Indianapolis.[4]

Early political career

Before being elected to public office, Carson was a Democratic Party Committeeperson in Indianapolis. In 2007, Carson won a special caucus of the Marion County Democratic Party to become the City-County Councilor for the 15th Council district of Indianapolis-Marion County.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Carson is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, New Democrat Coalition and the youngest member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Among others, he is also a member of the Congressional Automotive Caucus, Cancer Action Caucus, Children's Caucus, Climate Change Caucus, Human Rights Caucus, International Conservation Caucus, Labor and Working Families Caucus, Study Group on Public Health, Democratic Budget Group, LGBT Equality Caucus, Military Family Caucus and Renewable/Efficient Energy Caucus. He also serves as the Congressional Black Caucus liaison to the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (CBC Liaison).[5]

In the 2008 Presidential Election, Carson endorsed Senator Barack Obama in April 2008, and later won Obama's endorsement for his own May 2008 Democratic primary battle. Carson was the first member of Indiana's Congressional Delegation to announce his support for then-candidate Obama.[6]

Political positions

Economic recovery

On February 13, 2009, Carson voted to pass the H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion economic stimulus package aimed at helping the economy recover from a deepening worldwide recession. This act included increased federal spending for health care, infrastructure, education, various tax breaks and incentives, and direct assistance to individuals.[7]

The ARRA has led to billions of dollars in investment in Carson's district, including grants to hire more police officers and save teaching jobs, and landmark investments in green technology that will create hundreds of new jobs.[8]


Carson has stated his support for programs that improve teacher education and training, improve aging school infrastructure and increase access to affordable, secondary education.[9]

Carson is the author of H.R. 3147, the Young Adults Financial Literacy Act, which was introduced on July 9, 2009. This legislation establishes a grant program to fund partnerships between educational institutions aimed at providing financial literacy education to young adults and families.

On September 17, 2009, Carson voted to pass H.R. 3221, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which will invest in the Pell Grant program and other student financial aid programs to make college more affordable.[7]

Energy and environment

Carson has supported investment in the development of new technologies that will reduce American dependence on foreign oil, create thousands of new jobs and begin to correct the adverse environmental effects of fossil fuels. Carson has opposed legislation to increase offshore drilling for oil or natural gas, instead promoting use of solar, wind, biofuel, biomass, and other renewable fuels.[10]

On June 26, 2009, Carson voted to pass H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which seeks to comprehensively address the effects of climate change by funding development of alternative energy technologies and implementing a cap and trade system.[7]

Health care reform

Carson is a strong supporter of health care reform legislation that increases access to medical care for millions of uninsured Americans and provides a more stable system for those at risk of losing their health insurance. On July 30, 2009, he signed a letter from the Congressional Progressive Caucus to House leadership, calling for a robust public option to be included in any health care reform bill.

He has opposed taxes both on the medical device industry and employer provided health insurance plans as a means to pay for health care reform. Instead, he has called for finding savings in the current health system by reducing waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare system, as well as implementing a surcharge on the wealthiest Americans as a means to cover the costs of reform. He has also voiced his opposition for health care reform legislation that increases the deficit.[11]

On November 7, 2009, Carson voted to pass H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, the House version of legislation designed to reform the American health insurance industry.[7]

Iraq and Afghanistan

Carson believes that "American efforts to capture and kill al Qaeda terrorists have greatly diminished" because of the Iraq War. He has often stated his belief that al Qaeda and the Taliban pose the most imminent threat to the United States, and has pushed for a reduction of troops in Iraq to cover the needs of the current War in Afghanistan.[12]

In August 2009, Carson visited American service members stationed in Iraq.


Citing a high foreclosure rate in Indianapolis, Carson has named foreclosure prevention and increased affordable housing to be among his top priorities.[13]

On May 7, 2009, Carson voted to pass the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009 (H.R. 1728), which regulates the mortgage lending industry by setting limits on types of loans offered to potential borrowers. Carson authored an amendment to this legislation that funded the distribution of information about foreclosure rescue scams through targeted mailings.[7]

Financial services

Carson has been a Member of the House Committee on Financial Services since taking office in 2008. During this time, the committee has focused on legislation addressing the American financial crisis that began in late 2007.

Carson voted to pass legislation enacting the Troubled Asset Relief Program on October 3, 2008. He has also voted to pass legislation increasing oversight over the Troubled Asset Relief Program, limiting executive pay, reforming sub-prime mortgage markets and regulating the financial industry.[14]

Carson was a cosponsor of H.R. 627, the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, which sought to increase transparency and regulation in the credit card industry. This legislation was signed into law by President Obama on May 22, 2009.[7]

Carson has voiced his support for legislation creating the Consumer Finance Protection Agency and monitoring systemic risk in the financial sector.[15]

National security

Carson is the only Member of Congress to have served in a Department of Homeland Security Fusion Center. He has voted to increase appropriations funding for the Department of Homeland Security.[7]

Disease prevention

Further information: Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and HIV/AIDS in Africa

On July 24, 2008, Carson voted to pass the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5501) which provided aid to developing countries fighting high rates of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. He successfully included an amendment in this bill which created "a transatlantic, technological medium of exchange that allows African scientists and American medical professionals to collaborate on the best methods for treating and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS on the African continent."[16]

Public safety

In 2009, Carson introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at reducing incidents of recidivism. The Recidivism Reduction Act (H.R. 2829) aims to attack the cycle of recidivism by ensuring prompt access to federal supplemental security income and Medicaid benefits for ex-offenders reentering society and addressing the gap in mental health services. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act repeals federal laws that prevent drug felons from receiving TANF benefits.[17]

In 2008, Carson helped the City of Indianapolis secure a federal COPS grant to hire more police officers. The grant was awarded as part of the ARRA.[18]

Consumer protection

On June 26, 2009 Carson introduced the Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 3088), which would require GM and Chrysler to carry liability insurance that would cover vehicles produced before they filed for bankruptcy in early 2009. The bill is named for Jeremy Warriner, an Indianapolis resident who lost his legs when his defective Chrysler vehicle caught fire during a car accident.[19]


Tea Party controversy

On March 20, 2010, Carson told reporters that health care protesters outside the Capitol hurled racial slurs at fellow Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) member Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia. Carson came off the House floor and told reporters his story about health care protesters hurling racial slurs during their walk from the Cannon House Office Building to the chambers.[20] Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart offered a $100,000 reward for any proof of these accusations.[21] Although audio and video recordings of the protest have been posted online, no proof of the racial slurs has yet been provided, and the reward remains unclaimed.[22]

On August 28, 2011, Carson told a gathering of supporters when referring to the Tea Party movement "This is the effort that we're seeing of Jim Crow", Carson said. "Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now of this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me... hanging on a tree."[23] Carson declined calls to resign, reaffirming, "I stand on the truth of what I spoke", and clarified that his comments were directed at certain tea party leaders and not the tea party as a whole.[24]

Remarks on education

Carson made a speech to an Islamic group that resulted in criticism from right-wing groups when he stated that American public schools should be modelled on Islamic madrassas. He granted an interview to reporter Mary Beth Schneider of The Indianapolis Star in which he maintained his speech remarks had been taken out of context.[25] On the same date, he issued a press release clarifying his position that no "particular faith should be the foundation of our public schools."[26]

Political campaigns


Special election

In 2008, André Carson won the nominating caucus of the Marion County Democratic Party, giving him the Democratic nomination for the special election to succeed his late grandmother, Congresswoman Julia Carson. During this election, he was endorsed by U.S. Senator Evan Bayh,[27] then-Senator Barack Obama, former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, Marion County Sheriff Frank J. Anderson, then-Representative from Indiana's 8th district Brad Ellsworth,[28] and retired U.S. Congressman Andy Jacobs, Jr. U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) contributed $4,000 each from their own campaign funds and $10,000 each from their political action committees to the Carson campaign.[29]

Carson defeated Republican State Representative Jon Elrod and Libertarian Sean Shepard in the special election on March 11, 2008, securing 53% of the vote.[30]

General election

Carson was re-elected in November 2008 to his first full term in Congress with 65% of the vote. Since that time, Carson's hometown newspaper, The Indianapolis Star, has praised him for "going strong" in his first year in office, writing that Carson has "[proven] himself to be relentlessly positive and seriously hardworking."[31]


In 2010, Carson again faced perennial Republican candidate Marvin Scott, who took issue with Carson's Muslim faith during the general election.[32] However, Carson handily defeated Scott to retain his seat.[33]


Indiana's 7th Congressional District Special Election (March 11, 2008)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic André Carson 45,668 54.04
Republican Jonathan Elrod 36,415 43.09
Libertarian Sean Sheppard 2,430 2.88
Total votes 84,513 100.00
Voter turnout %
Democratic hold
Indiana's 7th Congressional District General Election (2008)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic André Carson* 172,650 65.08
Republican Gabrielle Campo 92,645 34.92
Total votes 265,295 100.00
Voter turnout %
Democratic hold


Indiana's 7th Congressional District Election (2010)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic André Carson* 86,011 58.90
Republican Marvin B. Scott 55,213 37.81
Libertarian Dav Wilson 4,815 3.30
Total votes 146,039 100.00
Voter turnout %
Democratic hold


Indiana's 7th Congressional District Election (2012)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic André Carson* 162,122 62.85
Republican Carlos May 95,828 37.15
Total votes 257,950 100.00
Voter turnout %
Democratic hold


Indiana's 7th Congressional District Election, (2014)[34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Andre Carson (Incumbent) 61,443 54.73
Republican Catherine Ping 46,887 41.77
Libertarian Chris Mayo 3,931 3.50
Total votes 112,261 100.00
Democratic hold

Personal life

Carson is a practicing Muslim. He is married to Mariama Shaheed who is an educator. They and their daughter, Salimah, live in Center Township in Indianapolis.[35]


  1. "Members of Congress: Religious Affiliations". Pew Research Center. January 5, 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  2. "Carson sworn in as congressman for 7th District". Associated Press. March 13, 2008. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  3. "Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representative: 13 March 2008 Official lists were updated to reflect the addition of Rep. Carson, IN-07, to the rolls". Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 "About Congressman Andre Carson". Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  5. "Congressman André Carson: Caucus, Coalition and Taskforce Memberships". Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  6. Carson endorses Obama
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "U.S. House of Representatives Roll Call Votes 111th Congress, 1st Session (2009)". September 30, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  8. Where is the Money Going? Archived November 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. "Congressman André Carson: Education". August 10, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  10. "Congressman André Carson: Energy". Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  11. "Congressman André Carson: Online Health Care Forum". Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  12. "Congressman André Carson: Iraq and Afghanistan". Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  13. "Congressman André Carson: Housing". Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  14. "U.S. House of Representatives Roll Call Votes 110th Congress, 2nd Session (2008)". Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  15. "Congressman André Carson: Carson Votes to Establish Consumer Financial Protection Agency". October 22, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  16. "Congressman André Carson: Foreign Affairs". June 26, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  17. "Congressman André Carson: Keeping Communities Safe Means Stopping the Revolving Door of Prison". June 12, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  18. "Congressman André Carson: Indy Secures COPS Grant Worth $11 Million". July 29, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  19. "Congressman André Carson: Nation Benefits From a Stronger GM, But Consumers Must be Protected in Process". July 6, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  20. Pickett, Kerry (April 6, 2010). "AUDIO: Origin of Rep. Carson's racism accusation toward health care protesters". The Washington Times. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  21. "Racism claims reward offered". April 26, 2010. Archived from the original on November 29, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  22. Pickett, Kerry (March 20, 2010). "Video appears to dispute lawmaker's claim of protesters' racial slurs". The Washington Times. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  23. Bendery, Jennifer (August 30, 2011). "Democratic Rep: Tea Party Would Love To See Black People 'Hanging On A Tree' (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  24. Wilson, Stan (August 31, 2011). "Rep. Carson defends controversial tea party slam". Cable News Network. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  25. Schneider, Mary Beth (July 6, 2012). "Carson says speech remarks taken out of context". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  26. Hibbard, Laura (July 6, 2012). "André Carson, Indiana Congressman, Says U.S. Public Schools Should Be Modeled After Islamic Schools, (VIDEO) (UPDATE)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  27. Sen. Bayh lends support to Andre Carson Archived February 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  28. WTHR, Dateline:Indianapolis (March 3, 2008). "Carson gets two endorsements". WTHR-TV Indianapolis, Indiana. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  29. Carson Leading Elrod in Cash
  30. Scheider, Mary Beth (March 12, 2008). "Carson wins seat in 7th District race". The Indianapolis Star. Archived from the original on March 14, 2008.
  31. Tully, Matthew (March 8, 2009). "A Year Into Office Congressman Carson is Going Strong". The Indianapolis Star. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  32. Tully, Matthew (September 15, 2010). "Marvin Scott's tactics are ugly, shameless, par for the course". The Indianapolis Star. Archived from the original on January 27, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  33. King, Mason (December 22, 2010). "Leading Questions: Carson talks Congress, whips, soft rock". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  34. "Secretary of State : Election Division: Election Results". Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  35. "Arena Profile:Rep. Andre Carson". Politico. Retrieved 2016-03-23.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Julia Carson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 7th congressional district

March 11, 2008  present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Rob Wittman
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jackie Speier
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/27/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.