President Donald Trump is only a mere six months into his first term, but he already has his first Democratic presidential challenger.
In a Washington Post op-ed published Friday, Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) announced he will seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination because his party needs “a different approach.”
The third-term congressman and former health care financier, who is worth a mammoth $92 million, announced in the column that he will not seek re-election in 2018 so he can fully focus on his White House aspirations.
“The American people are far greater than the sum of our political parties,” Delaney wrote. “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,” he explained.
Delaney, highlighting his own career in business, argued that the U.S. has become “less secure and less prosperous” in the very short time Trump has occupied the White House.
“Before age 40, I founded and led as chief executive two publicly traded companies that created thousands of jobs and were admired in the community,” he wrote. “As a progressive businessman, I’ve made it a priority to be solutions-oriented and have been consistently recognized as one of the most innovative and bipartisan members of Congress.”
In his glowing op-ed about himself, Delaney, 54, loosely established his platform, most of which focuses on economic development.
As president, Delaney said he would “encourage a more just and inclusive form of capitalism” and reduce barriers to small-business formation. He said the U.S. needs to “reform” its health care, education, and immigration systems while promoting “more volunteerism, impact investing, and public service.” He also pledged to take “affirmative steps” toward reducing “climate risks.”
Delaney — like Trump — has been unafraid in the past of spending his own money on the campaign trail. According to the Post, he spent more than $3 million on his first two House bids.
Before setting his sights on the White House, Politico reported, Delaney was interested in challenging popular Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in 2018. In fact, he won a gubernatorial straw poll among activists at a Democratic summit at Maryland’s Rocky Gap Casino Resort in April.
GOP research firm America Rising, founded in 2012 by then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign manger, poked a little fun at Delaney on Friday in a statement about the lawmaker’s presidential announcement.
“Who?” the opposition research firm asked.
GOP research firm America Rising has a bit of fun with the John Delaney news pic.twitter.com/RvGxPJtk6y
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) July 28, 2017