Delaware’s U.S. senators are members of ‘top 1 percent’ in income

DOVER — Delaware’s three members of Congress are doing more than just getting by financially.
In fact, they’re rich.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.

All Democrats, the state’s two senators and one representative are much better off than the average American — even discounting their six-figure salaries as members of Congress.

Required reports filed in May and June indicate Delaware’s senators are multimillionaires, while the state’s lone representative is worth more than $500,000.

The figures reflect earnings, assets and liabilities for 2014 for the politicians, as well as their spouses.

Sen. Chris Coons listed an approximate income of $613,000 in 2014, with most of that coming from stock in W.L. Gore and Associates, the company founded by his stepfather. His stock netted him between $100,000 and $1 million.

According to financial disclosure reports, he listed total assets of about $9 million in 2014. That total includes four separate accounts of at least $1 million held by his wife or children.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.

Because the financial disclosure statements provide only a range rather than a specific value, Sen. Coons’ exact worth only can be estimated. The total ranges from about $6 million to $12 million, including the four $1 million accounts. The assets include mutual funds, stock and bank accounts.

Sen. Coons’ yearly earnings consisted mostly of dividends and capital gains from W.L. Gore stock. That stock, which had a value between $1 million and $5 million, resulted in income of more than $100,000 but less than or equal to $1 million.

For Sen. Tom Carper, assets varied from $2.7 million to $7.6 million — a mean of about $5.2 million. They included stocks, bank accounts and real estate. As the state’s former governor and treasurer, he also receives a pension.

Sen. Carper’s 2014 non-senatorial income was approximately $133,000, based on the average of a range.
According to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, the average wealth of a U.S. senator was $2.7 million in 2013. The center ranked Sen. Coons as the 21st wealthiest senator and Sen. Carper as the 34th richest member of the chamber.

Rep. John C. Carney Jr.

Rep. John C. Carney Jr.

Rep. John Carney ranks below his counterparts in the Senate but still is wealthier than the average American household. He reported total assets between $319,000 and $1.2 million in 2014. The average is about $765,000.
His non-congressional income was no more than a few thousand dollars. Assets included bank accounts, a retirement plan and an index fund.

The Center for Responsive Politics ranked Rep. Carney as the 230th richest member in the 435-person chamber.

It found the average worth for a U.S. representative was about $7.2 million as of 2013.

The center estimated the richest federal lawmaker — Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. — was worth about $448 million in 2013, while on the opposite end, one was almost $12 million in debt. That would be Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif.

Sen. Coons had two liabilities, a line of credit and a mortgage, totaling $550,000 to $1.1 million, while

Sen. Carper had a mortgage between $100,000 and $250,000.

Rep. Carney did not report any liabilities. The liabilities were not included in the net worth.

The annual salary for a member of Congress is $174,000 and has been so since 2009.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2014 the average annual wage for a U.S. worker was just more than $47,000.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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