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Don Sherwood

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Title: Don Sherwood  
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Subject: Chris Carney, United States House of Representatives elections in Pennsylvania, 2006, United States House of Representatives elections, 2006, Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district, United States House of Representatives elections in Pennsylvania, 2002
Collection: 1941 Births, American Methodists, Living People, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Republicans, People from the Scranton–wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Area, People from Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, Republican Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, School Board Members in Pennsylvania, School Board Members in the United States, United States Army Officers
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Don Sherwood

Don Sherwood
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 10th district
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Joe McDade
Succeeded by Chris Carney
Personal details
Born (1941-03-05) March 5, 1941
Nicholson, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Carol Evans
Residence Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
Alma mater Dartmouth College
Occupation automobile dealer
Religion United Methodist

Donald L. "Don" Sherwood (born March 5, 1941) is an American politician. He served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district, from 1999 to 2007. He was defeated for reelection by Chris Carney in November 2006.


  • Biography 1
    • Personal life 1.1
    • Congressional career 1.2
    • Extramarital affair/report of abuse 1.3
    • 2006 re-election campaign 1.4
      • Primary 1.4.1
      • General election 1.4.2
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Personal life

Born in Nicholson, Pennsylvania, Sherwood attended Lackawanna Trail High School and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1963, and spent the next two years in the U.S. Army.[1] He opened a Chevrolet-Pontiac dealership in Tunkhannock and became well known in northeastern Pennsylvania through his ads in the area. He was also one the original owner principals of Tunkhannock radio station WEMR, which first went on the air in 1986. Though he has since sold the radio station, the car dealership is still owned by his family. He is married and has three daughters.

Sherwood began his political career in 1975, when he was elected to the Tunkhannock Area School Board. He served on this panel for 23 years, the last six as board president.

Congressional career

In 1998, Sherwood won the Republican nomination to replace 10th District Congressman George W. Bush narrowly winning the district.

Redistricting by the Pennsylvania legislature after the 2000 census made Sherwood somewhat safer. The biggest change came when the legislature shifted heavily Democratic Scranton, which had been the 10th's base for over a century, to the Wilkes-Barre based 11th, already a Democratic stronghold. In its place, the legislature added some more rural territory that had previously been in the heavily Republican 5th District. The 10th had long been considered a swing district, though Republicans had held the seat since 1961. Sherwood successfully ran for re-election from this new, much more Republican district against third-party Kurt Shotko in 2002 and 2004, in both cases winning with over 80 percent of the vote.

In 2002, he was named to the PoliticsPA list of Best Dressed Legislators.[2]

Extramarital affair/report of abuse

On September 15, 2004, a woman locked herself inside the bathroom of Sherwood's Washington, D.C. apartment, and called 911 to report she was assaulted. When police arrived, the woman, Cynthia Ore, accused Sherwood of choking her, though he maintained he was only giving her a backrub. No charges were filed because both Sherwood and Ore refused to provide any details. The report of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department stated, "Both parties have left out significant information or are not willing to discuss in detail what actually happened." [14]

The details of that incident went unnoticed until 2005, when Veronica Hannevig, who ran against Sherwood on the Constitution Party ticket in 2004, distributed a copy of the police report to several newspapers and television stations. Sherwood initially contended that Ore was merely a "casual acquaintance". [15] He eventually admitted he had a five-year extramarital affair with Ore, but denied abusing her. [16]

Ore later filed a $5.5 million lawsuit against Sherwood, accusing him of repeatedly assaulting her during their relationship. [17] On November 8, 2005, Sherwood and Ore ended the lawsuit by reaching a settlement, the terms of which were not released.

On November 3, 2006, the Associated Press reported that a source had revealed the terms of Sherwood's settlement with Ore. The story reports that Sherwood agreed to pay her about $500,000 but a confidentiality clause requires Ore to forfeit some of the money if she talks publicly about the case. [18] It also reported that Ore had, as of November 3, received only about half of the money and that she would receive the other half after the November 7 election, giving Ore "a powerful incentive for her to keep quiet until after Election Day."

The Ore incident damaged Sherwood’s standing with some Republicans. In April 2006, Martha Rainville, a Republican running for the U.S. House seat in Vermont, announced that she would return a campaign contribution from Sherwood’s political action committee. She cited her belief in "strong family values". [19] But Sherwood received strong support from Republican leaders for the 2006 Republican primary in his district (see below).

2006 re-election campaign


In the Republican primary on May 15, 2006, Sherwood was held to 56 percent of the vote against political newcomer Kathy Scott. [20] Sherwood received 56% of the vote. CQPolitics reported that his "mediocre showing" could be attributed to the admitted affair. [21] Scott did not file a report with the FEC, which indicates that she spent less than $5,000 in her campaign. [22]

Prior to the primary, Pennsylvania George W. Bush. [24] Sherwood also received campaign contributions from several political action committees of other Republican members of the House. [25]

General election

In the general election in November, Sherwood lost to Democrat Chris Carney, a former Defense Department consultant and Navy Lieutenant Commander.

Carney criticized Sherwood's record on the issues, but also ran what the Associated Press described as "a hard-hitting commercial focusing on the [extramarital] affair". [26] The ad quoted a voter saying, "This incident with Don Sherwood just cuts right at the core values of our district." The background displayed the text "repeatedly choking" and "attempting to strangle plaintiff", taken from the lawsuit filed by Ore against Sherwood.

Sherwood countered with a television ad in which he apologized for his affair with Ore, but denied ever abusing her. Addressing viewers, Sherwood said, "While I'm truly sorry for disappointing you, I never wavered from my commitment to reduce taxes, create jobs and bring home our fair share." He added, "Should you forgive me, you can count on me to keep on fighting hard for you and your family."

Carney defeated Sherwood in the election, 53% to 47%.

See also


  • "Biography of Congressman Don Sherwood". U.S. House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 2006-08-16. 
  1. ^ Don Sherwood biography, United States Congress. Accessed May 31, 2007.
  2. ^ "Sy Snyder's Best Dressed Legislators".  

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • record maintained by the Washington Post
  • , January 25,"D.C. paper: Sherwood won’t pay half of Ore settlement", Kevin Amerman,
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Joseph M. McDade
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by
Chris Carney
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