Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Matthew Alton 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.[1] As an attorney, Cartwright previously worked at the law firm of Munley, Munley, and Cartwright.

Matt Cartwright
Matt Cartwright, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
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 Matthew Alton Cartwright
(1961-05-01) May 1, 1961 (age 56)
Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Marion Munley
Children 2
Alma mater Hamilton College, New York (BA)
University of Pennsylvania (JD)
Website House website


Early life and educationEdit

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 on to earn a magna cum laude Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Hamilton College in 1983,[2] 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.[3] In 1981, Cartwright attended the London School of Economics[4] where he met his future wife, Marion Munley. After graduating law school, both Munley and Cartwright joined the Munley family's law firm in the Scranton area.[1][citation needed]

Law careerEdit

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.[5] 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.[6]

Cartwright served from 2009 to 2012 as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice.[7] 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.[8] In 2011, Cartwright co-authored the legal treatise Litigating Commercial and Business Tort Cases published by Thomson Reuters.[9]

During the 1992 presidential election, Cartwright was an Elected Delegate for candidate Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention, representing Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district.[10][11] In 2001-2002, he served as District Governor for Rotary International District 7410, covering northeastern Pennsylvania.[12] On November 5, 2010, the Boy Scouts of America's Northeastern Pennsylvania Council presented Cartwright with its Silver Beaver Award for volunteer service to that organization.[13]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit



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.[14] 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.

It was widely believed that Holden, a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, would face a tough fight to secure re-election in the primary. Not only was the district significantly bluer than its predecessor, but it was located in territory that he did not know and did not know him. The only portion of the district that had been in the old 17th was Holden's home in Schuylkill County, with the majority of Democratic primary voters located in counties considered more favorable to Cartwright's candidacy.[15][16] During the primary, Cartwright described himself as being from "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" — a line often employed by Howard Dean and Paul Wellstone.[17] He was supported by, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Campaign for Primary Accountability.[18][19] 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.

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.[20]

On April 24, 2012, Cartwright defeated Holden by 57%-43% in the primary.[21]

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.[22]

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.[23][24]

On March 28, 2014, Cartwright was named a "moderate Democratic leader" in the U.S. House by the independent legislative watchdog[25]


On November 4, 2014, Cartwright won a second term, defeating Republican challenger David Moylan, M.D., the elected Coroner of Schuylkill County, PA by 13.6 points.[26]


On November 8, 2016, Cartwright won his third term, defeating Republican challenger Matthew Connolly, a businessman from Northampton County, PA by seven points.[27]


Donald Trump won the 17th district while Cartwright won re-election by his lowest margin (7 points). [28] [29] The DCCC has include Cartwright on their "frontline" list. [30] The RNCC has include Cartwright on their target list as well. [31] Despite this, the district is rated as Likely D, meaning it is expected that Cartwright will win re-election. [32]


Good Government

Cartwright supports good-government legislation, and has introduced bills involving transparency and efficiency. On April 12, 2016, he introduced H.R. 4904, the MEGABYTE Act, to reduce duplication of computer software procurement by the federal government. The bill passed in the U.S. House on June 7, 2016, and passed the U.S. Senate on July 14, 2016. It was signed by the President on July 29, 2016.[33]

Cartwright supports reducing defense spending.[34] He also has described education as the only method of truly alleviating poverty.[34] He supports stricter enforcement of prohibitions against gender based discrimination in wages.[34]


Cartwright has stated that promoting family-sustaining jobs is his "No. 1 message."[35] He has introduced several bills to promote American manufacturing, including H.R. 2296, the Job Creation through Energy Efficiency Manufacturing Act,[36] and H.R. 5812, the bipartisan Innovate America Act, which includes a manufacturing assistance program for small- and medium-sized American manufacturing companies.[37]


To combat global warming, Cartwright supports implementing cap-and-trade emission standards for companies to encourage lowering emissions.[34] Although he believes American energy production and American economic growth are linked, he does not believe environment-friendly methods should be ruled out.[38] He supports investments in sustainable "green" energy productions with fewer emissions.[38] He also supports further forest conservation and is committed to keep water sources clean through repealing legislation allowing companies to pollute water supplies.[38]

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.[39][40] 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.[41] It passed the full House of Representatives on June 23, 2014.[42]

Gun Control

Cartwright is in favor of more gun safety laws.[34] During his first month in office he co-sponsored four bills involving gun control.[43] He opposes gun-makers' legal immunity after a crime has occurred, as does he oppose assault rifle sales.[43]

Marriage Equality

He supports same-sex marriages[34] and stated "there's no reason to discriminate against gay people."[44] He does not believe religious leaders should be mandated to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.[44]


Cartwright describes himself as a moderate on abortion.[34]


Cartwright supports increasing the income tax on the highest incomes.[34] He also believes the current tax system in place gives too many breaks to Americans in the highest tax brackets.[34] 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.[34]

Committee assignmentsEdit

He is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[45]

Personal lifeEdit

Cartwright married Marion Munley in 1985.[46] They live in Moosic, Pennsylvania with their two sons Jack and Matt.[47]


  1. ^ "Cartwright beats out Cummings for 17th District House seat". Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Matthew Cartwright '83 Runs for Congress Alumni News & Notes". Hamilton College. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Meet Matt: Cartwright for U.S. Congress". Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Matthew Cartwright". Forbes. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  5. ^ Clark, Adam (April 19, 2012). "Cartwright, Holden face off in 17th District primary". The Morning Call. 
  6. ^ "Matthew A. Cartwright". Munley, Munley & Cartwright. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Pennsylvania Attorney Matthew A. Cartwright Chosen to Serve on AAJ Board of Governors". July 14, 2011. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ Toeplitz, Shira (April 17, 2012). "Redistricting Makes Blue Dog Holden an Underdog". Roll Call. 
  9. ^ "Litigating Business and Commercial Tort Cases". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  10. ^ Moyer, Josh (April 10, 2012). "Cartwright emphasizes health care, trade in platform". Citizens Voice. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  11. ^ Gibson, Keegan (December 22, 2011). "Serious Primary Challenger Emerges for Holden". PoliticsPA. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Rotary District 7410 Northeastern Pennsylvania Past District Governors". Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Boy Scouts Present Silver Beaver Awards". Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  14. ^ Lindsey, Zach. "Matt Cartwright in victory over U.S. Rep. Tim Holden: Time to 'rebuild'". The Express-Times. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  15. ^ Gibson, Keegan (2012-04-09). "Cartwright Poll: Cartwright Leads Holden 42-36". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  16. ^ Bland, Scott (April 24, 2012). "Holden Loses Re-Election Bid to Cartwright". National Journal. 
  17. ^ Joseph, Cameron (January 25, 2012). "Holden gets primary challenge in Pa". The Hill. 
  18. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (April 25, 2012). "Jason Altimire, Tim Holden fall in Pennsylvania primaries". Politico. 
  19. ^ Sledge, Matt (April 25, 2012). "Matt Cartwright, Environmentalist Candidate, Wins Pennsylvania Primary With Help Of Oil Magnates". Huffington Post. 
  20. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (April 25, 2012). "2 House Democrats Defeated After Opposing Health Law". The New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Holden, longtime Pa. incumbent, ousted in primary". CBS News. April 25, 2012. 
  22. ^ "STATE-BY-STATE RESULTS". Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  23. ^ Kurtz, Connor. "Cartwright Elected Freshman Dem President". PoliticsPA. Retrieved January 12, 2013. 
  24. ^ Bell, Peter (November 15, 2012). "The New Faces of the 113th Congress". National Journal. 
  25. ^ "Cartwright Named a Legislative Leader by Watchdog Group". Cartwright.House.Gov. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Cartwright Cruises to Second Term". The Morning Call. November 4, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Cartwright Soundly Defeats Republican Challenger". The Citizens Voice. November 9, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Daily Kos Elections' presidential results by congressional district for the 2016 and 2012 elections". Daily Kos. Retrieved 2017-11-24. 
  29. ^ "House Election Results: G.O.P. Keeps Control". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-24. 
  30. ^ "2017-2018 DCCC Frontline Members". DCCC. Retrieved 2017-11-24. 
  31. ^ "NRCC Announces Initial Offensive Targets For The 2018 Cycle - NRCC". NRCC. 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2017-11-24. 
  32. ^ "2018 House Race ratings | The Cook Political Report". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved 2017-11-24. 
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Matt Cartwright:(Democrat, district 17)". On the Issues. "Cartwright, Moylan debate immigration, Ebola". Allentown Morning Call. 
  35. ^ "Blue Collar Democrats: Shaky Jobs Message Doomed Clinton". Newsweek. 
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ a b c "Environment". Cartwright for Congress. 
  39. ^ "CBO - H.R. 4092". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  40. ^ "H.R. 4092 - All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  41. ^ "House Committee Unanimously Approves Energy Efficiency for Schools Act". SBC Magazine. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  42. ^ "Thomas, Bill Summary and Status, HR 4092". Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  43. ^ a b Itkowitz, Colby (Feb 6, 2013). "Rep. Cartwright makes gun control a priority". The Morning Call. 
  44. ^ a b "Cartwright backs gay marriage". Times Leader. 
  45. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  46. ^ McGill, Andrew (April 12, 2012). "Political adwatch: Matt Cartwright's 'Priorities' gives little reason to offend". The Morning Call. 
  47. ^ Krawczeniuk, Borys (January 25, 2012). "Cartwright says he's the real Democrat, not Holden". The Times-Tribune. 

External linksEdit