2020 Presidential Profiles

Published — January 15, 2019 Updated — February 5, 2019 at 8:00 am ET

9 things to know about John Delaney

(johnkdelaney.com)

Little-known former congressman faces long odds in competitive Democratic presidential primary.

Introduction

In early January, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, announced they’re seeking the Democratic nomination for president in what’s bound to be a crowded field.

But they’re not first: Former U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., already declared his bid for the White House — more than 17 months ago.

To do so, Delaney skipped running for a fourth term in the U.S. House and challenging incumbent Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

Why? In a Washington Post op-ed, Delaney, who fashions himself as a “progressive businessman,” outlined the arguments for why you should pick him to be president: He’s not interested in partisan politics, he believes in the free market as much as he does helping the less fortunate, and he is the one who can guide the country through more technological advances that benefit the economy.

Delaney has been campaigning hard in Iowa. The state’s caucuses provide an early showing of voter support. Earlier this month, Delaney hired a group of staffers from diverse backgrounds for his Des Moines, Iowa, campaign office.

Here’s more on Delaney’s political and financial history:

  • Delaney has already visited all 99 counties in Iowa during his early campaigning.

  • Since announcing his run for president in July 2017, Delaney has raked in more than $1 million, through late October, according to Federal Election Commission records.

  • Delaney ranked sixth among the richest members in both chambers of Congress, according to his federal personal financial disclosure for 2016. (Update, Feb. 5, 2019: Delaney’s presidential candidate personal financial disclosure, signed on Jan. 31, indicates Delaney retains tens of millions of dollars in assets across dozens of investments.)

  • Delaney raised $4.43 million during his first run for the U.S. House in 2012. That proved to be his highest total in any of his campaigns for the U.S. House.
  • Billionaire Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer gave Friends of John Delaney $2,700 in 2016 during Delaney’s third run for Congress.

  • Individuals from two of the companies Delaney ran, CapitalSource and Alliance Partners, were his top contributors throughout his three runs for a U.S. House seat, giving $140,900 and $56,975 respectively.

  • Delaney and his wife, April, donated $40,000 to the Georgetown Human Rights Institute for 14 Georgetown law students and two faculty members to go to a Dilley, Texas, detention center from May to December, where they will help provide legal aid to asylum seekers.

  • During the 2017-2018 election cycle, Delaney and his wife together gave $121,600 to PACs and campaigns, including Congressional Black Caucus PAC and unsuccessful U.S. House candidate Lauren Baer, D-Fla.

  • BluePrint Maryland, the 501(c)(4) nonprofit started and funded by Delaney in 2011 to boost the private sector economy in the state, has not received more than $50,000 in any year since its inception when it received $127,675 in contributions, gifts and grants, according to tax records.
Then-Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., greets a fairgoer during a stop at the Iowa Democratic Party booth during a visit to the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 10, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP/Charlie Neibergall)

Sources: Center for Public Integrity reporting, the New York Times, CQ Roll Call, Center for Responsive Politics, Federal Election Commission, Politico, GuideStar and the Internal Revenue Service.

Read more in Federal Politics

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