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John Delaney Running for President in 2020

Maryland Democrat won't seek re-election to House

The field to replace Maryland Rep. John Delaney in 2018 is already crowded. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The field to replace Maryland Rep. John Delaney in 2018 is already crowded. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maryland Democratic Rep. John Delaney announced Friday afternoon he’s running for president in 2020. He won’t run for re-election or for governor in 2018.

Shortly after the House recessed for its August break, The Washington Post published an op-ed by the third-term congressman detailing why he’s running. He also released a nearly six-minute video that opens with him talking about President Donald Trump.

“The biggest problem with Trump is that he’s not focused on the future and he’s not doing the things we need to do structurally to make our economy more competitive, to make our country more entrepreneurial, and to position people in that new economy we all know is coming,” Delaney says.   

But then he pivots to the economic message that’s prominent in his video: “Democrats can’t win by just attacking Trump. We really have to show the American people there’s a better way.”

“The current Administration is making us less prosperous and less secure, the healthcare debacle being the most recent example of their brand of destructive partisanship,” Delaney said in his announcement statement Friday. 

The video also features former New York Rep. Richard Hanna, a Republican, endorsing Delaney’s “skills and experience to resolve some of our country’s biggest issues.” (Hanna voted for Hillary Clinton last fall.) 

Delaney will make an official announcement via Facebook Live at an event on Saturday in the New Jersey town where he grew up.

Delaney had been considered a potential challenger to Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, but over the past week, chatter grew about him passing up that contest to seek a much higher office in three years. 

One of the wealthiest members of Congress, Delaney was first elected to his 6th District seat in 2012. He defeated Republican incumbent Roscoe G. Bartlett by 21 points in a district that became more Democratic after redistricting. 

Delaney raised $188,000 in the second quarter of this year, including a $60,000 loan. He ended the quarter with $54,000 in the bank. 

Republicans are targeting the 6th District in 2018. Delaney won re-election last fall by 16 points while Clinton carried the district by 15 points, according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections. But Delaney’s re-election in 2014, a GOP wave year, was much closer. He defeated Republican Dan Bongino by less than 2 points. 

Amie Hoeber, the 2016 GOP nominee, is taking another look at the seat. Other Republicans who could be interested include Terry Baker, the president of the Washington County Board of County Commissioners, state Del. David Vogt, 2016 candidate Frank Howard, and Michael Higgs, the former Montgomery County GOP chairman and current director of the state Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Several Democrats have already been raising money for the race. State Del. Aruna Miller raised $356,000 in the second quarter, ending it with $351,000. State House Majority Leader Bill Frick raised $213,000 in the second quarter and ended it with $187,000 in the bank. State Sen. Roger Manno is also interested in the race. Wine retailer David Trone has expressed interest in an open 6th District contest, too. He spent $13 million of his own money on a losing bid for the Democratic nod for the 8th District in 2016. 

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