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Fmr. Rep. John Delaney: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 hopeful

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By Roey Hadar

Gwen Ifill Fellow

Former Congressman John Delaney is running for president and has been for almost two years.

The 55-year-old Democrat, who represented Maryland in Congress, left his office after the 2018 midterms to fully pursue a run for president. Unlike some of his fellow contenders who have just jumped in, Delaney has already visited all 99 counties in Iowa and has focused on building name recognition in early primary states.

Here are seven things you need to know about the longest-tenured 2020 Democratic contender:

  • Delaney has been in the race longer than any major Democratic candidate running for president. He officially filed and launched his campaign in July 2017, over a year before any other major Democratic presidential contender.
  • Delaney spent three terms in Congress representing Maryland’s 6th congressional district, consisting of many wealthy outer suburbs of Washington, D.C. A relatively pragmatic Democrat, he was a member of the bipartisan moderate No Labels’ Problem Solvers coalition. He served on the House Financial Services Committee.
  • He made a lot of money before coming to Congress. Prior to running for office, he established two loan and lending companies that have been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. At one point, Delaney was the youngest CEO of a company traded on the NYSE and he was the only former CEO of a public company serving in the House of Representatives and ranked among the top ten richest members of Congress.
  • A significant part of Delaney’s campaign platform is ending partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts. Delaney, who credits Maryland’s gerrymandered district map for helping him get to Congress, introduced a bill in 2017 to create nationwide independent redistricting committees and make Election Day a federal holiday.
  • Delaney has run a campaign trying to balance progressive and moderate policies. Delaney supports raising corporate taxes, introducing a carbon tax, reinstating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, implementing universal health care—but not Medicare for all—and reducing the deficit.
  • In Congress, Delaney pushed for increased awareness about the impacts of automation and artificial intelligence. He founded the bipartisan Artificial Intelligence Caucus in Congress and has called on the government to prepare workers for technological developments as a way of ensuring that the developments can help create jobs.
  • Delaney has a series of unconventional proposals meant to foster unity, a core theme of his campaign. He says that as president, he will spend his first 100 days signing only bipartisan bills and plans to set up four nationally-televised debates every year between himself and Congress.