By Len Lazarick
Montgomery County bank executive John Delaney has begun exploring a run for Congress in the newly redrawn 6th Congressional District that now includes a third of Montgomery County.
Delaney, a Potomac resident who founded and is executive chairman of CapitalSource commercial bank in Chevy Chase, is a major donor to the state and national Democratic Party and to many nonprofit causes. His only run for elected office was as a Hillary Clinton delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
The congressional seat is now held by 10-term Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, but half of the population of the district, now being challenged in court, lives in Montgomery County.
This summer, Delaney founded a new non-profit business group, Blueprint Maryland, focused on ways to help Maryland create private sector jobs.
“I’m not a professional politician,” Delaney said in a press release being sent out this morning. “I’m convinced that if we stay focused on creating jobs, embrace ideas that put the middle class first, and involve the public and private sector to get things done, we can make a positive difference in people’s lives. The level of unemployed and underemployed in this country is tragic and is, by almost any measure, the most important issue of the day.”
Delaney, 48, is the son of a union electrician who attended Columbia University on a union scholarship and has a law degree from Georgetown University. He founded two publicly traded companies headquartered in Montgomery County – HealthCare Financial Partners Inc. and CapitalSource — that he says have created thousands of jobs and helped finance nearly 5,000 small to mid-sized companies. He is on the board of directors of Georgetown University, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Potomac School.
Delaney was not available for comment Sunday, but a source who knew of the decision said that Delaney had been encouraged by other Democrats to get into the race and is waiting to see how others react to his potential candidacy.
Delaney’s personal wealth and Democratic Party connections make him an instant player in a race where few of the challengers are well-known in a district that stretches 165 miles from the Capital Beltway to Maryland’s western border.
So far, four Republicans and three Democrats have announced their campaigns to run for Bartlett’s seat. They are Republicans Robert Coblentz, Robin Ficker, Joseph Krysztoforski and Brandon Rippeon; and Democrats Rob Garagiola, Milad Pooran and Duchy Trachtenberg. State Senate Majority Leader Garagiola had been considered the challenger with the highest profile and best fund-raising apparatus, but Delaney could easily match those resources.
Capital News Service on Friday did a complete rundown of the other candidates in the race.