About Sean

Sean Barney is a post-9/11 Marine combat veteran who has dedicated his life to service. Sean and his wife Nikki are raising their two children, 10-year-old Sophie and 2-year-old Christopher, in Wawaset Park in Wilmington. 


Sean has long been committed to service and to building communities that move forward together. In high school, he was recognized with the New York Times Young Citizen Award for his work creating a community service alliance of inner city and suburban youth called Everyday People. After graduating from college, Sean responded to Senator Bill Bradley’s call for a renewed commitment to our core American ideal of equal opportunity. Sean joined Bradley's presidential campaign, working his way up from driver to speechwriter.


After 9/11, Sean was inspired by the example of the veterans of World War II, who stepped forward after Pearl Harbor to serve their country. Sean enlisted in the Marine Corps after 9/11, went through the Corps' storied boot camp at Parris Island, and completed infantry training at the Marine Corps School of Infantry. Sean volunteered for a combat deployment and fought with the Marines in Fallujah, Iraq, where he was severely wounded.


When Sean regained consciousness at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, he was told it was a miracle he was alive. He had been shot through the neck. The bullet had narrowly missed his windpipe and spine. It had severed his carotid artery, but the heat of the round had cauterized his artery to his jugular vein. That gave members of Sean’s platoon a narrow window of time to get him to a surgical center and gave a skilled Navy surgeon precious minutes to save Sean’s life. Sean knows he is fortunate to be alive. He is determined to use the new lease on life he has been given to raise a family and give back to his community.


Sean is grateful for the opportunities he has had to serve the people of Wilmington and Delaware and to make a positive difference. Sean has served as a senior aide to U.S. Senator Tom Carper, advising him on budgetary and economic policy, education, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, foreign policy, defense, and veterans affairs. He also served as policy director in the Administration of Governor Jack Markell, helping Governor Markell raise the minimum wage, end mandatory consecutive sentencing, create universal background checks for gun sales, pass marriage equality, and establish civil rights protections for transgender Delawareans.


A graduate of Swarthmore College, Sean studied law at Yale Law School and economics and public policy at Harvard, where he received his masters in public administration. He currently works in Wilmington as a public defender, continuing to fulfill the oath he took as a Marine enlistee to support and defend the Constitution.

Friends for Sean Barney

715 Nottingham Road

Wilmington, DE 19805

Paid for by Friends for Sean Barney