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The 2020 election begins with a Democratic challenger to Trump

The 2020 election begins with a Democratic challenger to Trump

Nobody asked for this. Yet one Democratic member of the House of Representatives has decided to officially begin the 2020 presidential election cycle. In 2017.

Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., announced his candidacy for president Friday, seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination and becoming the first official Democratic challenger to President Donald Trump.

“The American people are far greater than the sum of our political parties,” Delaney wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post.  It is time for us to rise above our broken politics and renew the spirit that enabled us to achieve the seemingly impossible. This is why I am running for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.”

Delaney, 54, is a former businessman who has earned a reputation as a moderate Democrat in Congress. One of the wealthiest members of the House, there was speculation in Maryland that Delaney might self-fund a bid for governor, challenging incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan, R-Md. in 2018. With Friday’s announcement, it is clear Delaney is aiming much higher.

In his op-ed, Delaney states that recent Democratic electoral losses demonstrate the party needs “a different approach.” Focusing on jobs and the economy, Delaney calls for a bipartisan approach to infrastructure and international tax reform.

Delaney was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 after Maryland’s previously-Republican 6th congressional district was redrawn to favor the Democratic Party. In 2014, Delaney narrowly won reelection after a strong challenge from Conservative Review contributor Dan Bongino. The election was so close that the outcome was not decided on Election Day.

Delaney’s former opponent says his early campaign for president should not be discounted.

"Rep. Delaney is a formidable opponent who shouldn't be underestimated,” Bongino told Conservative Review. “He has the money and the ambition to run a more-than-credible campaign. I almost beat him in 2014, but almost means less-than zero in politics."

Delaney says he will not seek reelection to the House of Representatives so that he can run for president “with the commitment it deserves.”

In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Delaney said he intends to visit Iowa next month to begin stumping at the Iowa State Fair.

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“I view myself in this race as something of a long-distance swimmer,” Delaney said. “I’m jumping in first, and I’m going to swim really hard.”

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