Donald Trump has been president for just six short months and yet the 2020 presidential campaign season is, it seems, already getting underway. Although most presidential hopefuls aren't expected to reveal their candidacy until the spring of 2019, Maryland congressman John Delaney announced his 2020 presidential campaign Friday in an op-ed for the Washington Post.
"The American people are far greater than the sum of our political parties," Delaney wrote in the 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."
To be clear, Delaney, who currently represents Maryland's 6th Congressional District in the House of Representatives, is announcing his candidacy before any official dates have been set for the primaries and caucuses and nearly 1,200 days before the 2020 election. But Delaney doesn't appear to be merely dipping his toes into the waters of the 2020 election, rather he's diving in headfirst. Along with his piece in the Post, he's also rolled out a fully-functioning campaign website complete with a nearly six-minute campaign ad.
Born to what he calls "a blue-collar family" in New Jersey, Delaney has said his vision for the country is "based on my own American Dream." Although neither of his parents had the opportunity to attend college, scholarships enabled Delaney to receive degrees from Columbia University and Georgetown University Law Center. He then went on to found two publicly-traded companies before turning to a career in politics. "I understand the American Dream, because I have lived it," he said in a statement on his campaign website.
Known as a moderate Democrat, Delaney is a members of Congress' centrist New Democrat Coalition who aims to "advance progressive values, find solutions and common ground, bring new ideas, and create forward-looking policies that help everyday Americans." Since his election to the House in 2012, Delaney has introduced bipartisan legislation regarding infrastructure, tax reform, social security, and impact investing. He has also supported measures on medical leave for veterans and universal access to pre-kindergarten education.
"I'm running because I have an original approach to governing and an economic policy that can put us on a different course," he wrote in the Post about his interest in running for president. "Our government is hamstrung by excessive partisanship. We are letting critical opportunities to improve the country pass us by."
While Delaney's announcement may come as a shock to a majority of voters, it is perhaps less surprising to those in Maryland, where rumors of Delaney's intent to run have circulated for weeks. According to the Baltimore Sun, Delaney even began looking for office space in Iowa, the state which holds the first Democratic caucus, months ago.
To drive home how serious he is about running for president, Delaney also revealed Friday that he would not seek re-election to the House in 2018.