Rep. John Delaney‘s announcement that he would run for president left just about everyone in the political world scratching their heads. The Maryland Democrat’s decision more than 1,000 days out from the 2020 election won’t have any immediate impact on the next campaign for the White House, but it will locally heading into 2018.
For starters, several Democrats are lining up to replace Delaney in his relatively safe northwestern district. State House Majority Leader Bill Frick and state Del. Aruna Miller have already been raising money for months in anticipation of Delaney leaving MD-06. And now with Delaney officially out of the picture, state Sen. Roger Manno and wine retailer David Trone, who spent $13 million of his fortune on an unsuccessful MD-08 bid in 2016, are likely to enter the race.
A handful of Republicans, including 2016 nominee Amie Hoeber, have an eye on MD-06. They have a tough slog ahead of them, as Delaney won reelection by 16 points last year and Hillary Clinton carried the district by 15 points. But there’s a potential wrinkle: Republicans are challenging the district’s lines in federal court. If a ruling comes down in the plaintiff’s favor in time, the seat could become more competitive.
Delaney was also considering a gubernatorial campaign before opting to get a head start on the presidential race. His profile as a self-funding moderate from the western part of the state would have been unique in a field made up of progressives from the Washington and Baltimore suburbs. The list of Democrats challenging Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is long: NAACP President Ben Jealous, state Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, state Sen. Richard Madaleno, attorney Jim Shea, and former State Department official Alec Ross are all in the mix, with several more still thinking about a run.
Delaney would have had his work cut out for him establishing name identification in a statewide contest. Now he’ll have to do so nationally.
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