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Matt Cartwright

Matthew Alton Cartwright
Matt Cartwright
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 17th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Tim Holden
Personal details
Born (1961-05-01) May 1, 1961
Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Marion Munley; 2 children[1]
Residence Moosic, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater Hamilton College (B.A.)
University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D.)
Occupation Lawyer, author
Religion Roman Catholic
Website Representative Matthew Cartwright

Matthew Alton "Matt" Cartwright (born May 1, 1961) is an American politician and attorney who has served as the United States Representative for Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district since 2013. The district includes a large swath of northeastern Pennsylvania, including Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Easton. A member of the Democratic Party, Cartwright defeated 10-term incumbent Blue Dog Tim Holden, the Dean of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation, in the Democratic primary on April 24, 2012, by a 57%-43% margin. Cartwright went on to defeat Republican Laureen Cummings in the general election on November 6, 2012 by a 61%-39% margin.[2] As an attorney, Cartwright previously worked at the law firm of Munley, Munley, and Cartwright.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Law career 2
  • U.S. House of Representatives 3
    • Elections 3.1
    • Tenure 3.2
    • Committee assignments 3.3
  • Personal life 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life and education

Cartwright was born on May 1, 1961 in Erie, Pennsylvania, the son of Alton S. Cartwright and Adelaide Cartwright. Matt Cartwright attended Upper Canada College (Toronto), graduating in 1979, before going to on to earn a magna cum laude Bachelor of Arts Degree in History at Hamilton College in 1983,[3] where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Cartwright studied law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He served two years as an Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1986.[4] In 1981, Cartwright attended the London School of Economics.[5] It is at that school where Cartwright met his future wife, Marion Munley. Munley and Cartwright joined the Munley family's law firm in the Scranton area.

Law career

For twenty-five years, Cartwright worked as an attorney and partner at Munley, Munley and Cartwright, a Scranton firm specializing in representation of consumers and small businesses in personal and business litigation.[6] He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1986 and in 2005 was further admitted to the Bar of New York. In 2008, Cartwright was inducted into the International Society of Barristers.[7]

Cartwright served from 2009 to 2012 as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice.[8] Between 2005 and 2011, Cartwright was the on-air legal analyst for The Law & You. In the segment, aired nightly as part of NBC affiliate WBRE-TV's evening newscast, he fielded viewer questions on legal matters.[9] In 2011, Cartwright co-authored the legal treatise Litigating Commercial and Business Tort Cases published by Thomson Reuters.[10]

During the

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tim Holden
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Tony Cardenas
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Joaquín Castro

External links

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Cartwright married Marion Munley in 1985.[35] They live in Moosic, Pennsylvania with their two sons.[1]

Personal life

Committee assignments

Cartwright supports increasing the income tax.[27] He also believes the current tax system in place gives too many breaks to Americans in the highest tax brackets.[27] He describes the middle class as being "under assault" and seeks to alter the tax system to allow the middle-class to carry less of a burden.[27]


Cartwright is in favor of more gun control.[27] During his first month in office he co-sponsored four bills involving gun control.[34] He opposes gun-makers' legal immunity after a crime has occurred, as does he oppose assault rifle sales.[34]

Gun Control

On February 26, 2014, Cartwright introduced the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2014 (H.R. 4092; 113th Congress), a bill that would require the United States Department of Energy to establish a centralized clearinghouse to disseminate information on federal programs, incentives, and mechanisms for financing energy-efficient retrofits and upgrades at schools.[30][31] Cartwright argued that "the bill is a strategic and cost-saving investment to relieve the fiscal pressure felt by schools across the country while bringing us closer to energy security." Cartwright's bill passed unanimously out of the Energy and Commerce Committee on April 30, 2014.[32] It passed the full House of Representatives on June 23, 2014.[33]

To combat global warming, Cartwright supports implementing cap-and-trade emission standards for companies to encourage lowering emissions.[27] Although he believes American energy production and American economic growth are linked, he does not believe environment-friendly methods should be ruled out.[29] He supports investments in sustainable "green" energy productions with fewer emissions.[29] He also supports further forest conservation and is committed to keep water sources clean through repealing legislation allowing companies to pollute water supplies.[29]


He supports same-sex marriages[27] and stated "there's no reason to discriminate against gay people."[28] He does not believe religious leaders should be mandated to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.[28]

Same Sex Marriage

Cartwright describes himself as pro-life.[27]


Cartwright supports reducing defense spending.[27] He also has described education as the only method of truly alleviating poverty.[27] He supports stricter enforcement of prohibitions against gender based discrimination in wages.[27]


On March 28, 2014, Cartwright was named a "moderate Democratic leader" in the U.S. House by the independent legislative watchdog[26]

On January 4, 2013, Cartwright was selected by his peers to serve as a class president of the 49 new Democratic members of the 113th Congress.[24][25]

In the November general election, Cartwright faced Republican nurse Laureen Cummings, a leader of the Scranton Tea Party. On November 6, Cartwright defeated Cummings, 61%–39% to become the district's next congressman.[23]

On April 24, 2012, Cartwright defeated Holden by 57%-43% in the primary.[22]

Holden's opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and his support of energy legislation that included the Halliburton loophole are believed to have contributed to his defeat.[21]

It was widely believed that Holden, a member of the League of Conservation Voters, and the Campaign for Primary Accountability.[19][20] Cartwright ran as a self-professed "FDR Democrat", and as an ally of President Obama on taxes and health care reform, and pledged to work with U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., also of Scranton, on regulations for safety in fracking. Cartwright also benefited in the race from endorsements from popular local public figures like State Representative Phyllis Mundy and former Scranton mayor Jimmy Connors.

Pennsylvania Republicans, who controlled the redistricting process after the 2010 United States Census, significantly altered Holden's 17th district. The old 17th had been based in Harrisburg, but the new 17th had been pushed well to the north and east. In the process, it absorbed heavily Democratic Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, previously in the 11th District.[15] Had the district existed in 2008, Barack Obama would have carried it with 56 percent of the vote; by comparison John McCain carried the old 17th with 51 percent of the vote.



U.S. House of Representatives


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