Birthdate: Nov. 27, 1973
Birth Place: Flint, MI, United States
Residence: Mount Laurel, NJ
First Elected: 2010
State: New Jersey
District: District 3
Jon Runyan was born in Flint, Mich., where his father worked for General Motors. He now resides in Mount Laurel, N.J.
Runyan attended the University of Michigan, where he played football and became the first person in his family to attend college. He later studied entrepreneurial management at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.
Runyan is a retired professional football player who spent a large portion of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles.
He and his wife, Loretta, have three children.
Jon Runyan won a seat representing New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District in 2010 with a campaign that framed the former professional football player's lack of political experience as the prime reason to vote for him.
Runyan, a Republican, had the support of Gov. Chris Christie and area tea party groups.
He unseated first-term Democratic Rep. John Adler, a longtime politician in New Jersey's Philadelphia suburbs. It was the first time in 12 years that an incumbent member of Congress from New Jersey had been defeated in a re-election bid.
Adler died of a heart infection after leaving office, and his widow, Shelley Adler, is running against Runyan in 2012.
The Democratic Congressional Committee has targeted Runyan since he took office, sending out frequent news releases criticizing him.
Runyan says he's a conservative on most issues, but he has been most vocal on issues that are not particularly partisan _ including more benefits for veterans.
He has been the prime sponsor of legislation in 2011 and 2012 to give disabled veterans cost-of-living increases.
He is also sponsored bills that would allow the use of federal money to pay for suicide prevention programs for military veterans, bar military base expansion outside of a formal base expansion and relocation process and ensure that every service member would be able to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Military and veterans' issues are important in a district that includes Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
In 2011, Runyan was the sponsor of a bill to allow recreational and commercial fishermen access to some areas where they are now limited by regulations.
Runyan supports using more wind energy. There's a push to build turbines off the New Jersey shore, an area that includes part of his district.
During his first campaign in 2010, Runyan said he favored increasing nuclear power production as a way to foster energy independence.
He opposed the 2010 health care reform bill. He says he wants to work to repeal the measure.
Source: Associated Press