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William Carney (July 1, 1942 – May 22, 2017) was an American politician. He served one term in the Suffolk County Legislature and four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Carney was a member of the Conservative Party and, later, of the Republican Party. He is notable for being the first member of the Conservative Party to serve in the House of Representatives.

William Carney
Wm Carney.png
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1987
Preceded byOtis G. Pike
Succeeded byGeorge Hochbrueckner
Personal details
Born(1942-07-01)July 1, 1942
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
DiedMay 22, 2017(2017-05-22) (aged 74)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyConservative
ResidenceHauppauge, New York;[1]
Washington D.C.[1]

Political careerEdit

Carney served in the Suffolk County legislature from 1976 until 1979.[1]

Carney was a member of the Conservative Party of New York and was the first Conservative member of the U.S. House of Representatives.[2][1] Despite his Conservative affiliation, Republican leaders allowed him to enter the Republican primary for a congressional seat in 1978 in New York's 1st congressional district.[3][2] Carney won the primary and the general election.[2]

Carney served four terms in the House of Representatives.[4] In 1985, he changed his party affiliation from Conservative to Republican.[5] In 1986, he declined to run for reelection. He faced opposition from the Conservative Party after joining the GOP and was opposed by some members of the Republican Party over his position on the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant.[6] Carney did not strongly oppose the construction of Shoreham and had difficult primary- and general-election campaigns in 1984 against strongly anti-Shoreham candidates.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Carney was born in Brooklyn. From 1960 until 1961, he attended Florida State University. He served in the United States Army Medical Corps from 1961 until 1964. Carney was married to Barbara Haverlin; the couple had two children. Before entering politics, Carney was a salesman.[1]

Carney died on May 22, 2017 from prostate cancer.[1]


  • United States Congress. "William Carney (id: C000165)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Brand, Rick (2017-05-23). "William Carney dead; politician who backed Shoreham plant was 74". Newsday.
  2. ^ a b c By JOHN T. MCQUISTONNOV. 9, 1978 (1978-11-09). "L.I. Conservative a First in House - The New York Times". Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  3. ^ Spitzer, Robert, "Third Parties in New York State", in Jeffrey M. Stonecash, John Kenneth White, and Peter W. Colby, edd., Governing New York State (1994, Third Edition).
  4. ^ By FRANK LYNNOCT. 26, 1986 (1986-10-26). "Stakes Are High In Suffolk House Race - The New York Times". Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  5. ^ By FRANK LYNNJAN. 26, 1986 (1986-01-26). "Politics; Primary Troubles Seen For Carney - The New York Times". Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  6. ^ Lynn, Frank (1986-01-26). "POLITICS; PRIMARY TROUBLES SEEN FOR CARNEY". New York Times.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Otis G. Pike
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
George J. Hochbrueckner