Chances are that the name John Kevin Delaney likely doesn’t mean anything to you, however he could very likely be your next president come November of 2020. A member of the House from Maryland, the congressman is so far the only major democratic contender to have declared his candidacy for presidency in 2020 following his announcement in July 2017 that he would be seeking the far off nomination.
While several others have already declared an intent to run, at this point no one else who holds a congressional seat has openly declared. Conspiracy theorist Jeff Boss, Businessman Andrew Yang and football coach Robby Wells are some of a few names to have already thrown a hat into the ring and even set up a few campaign websites, however Delaney is the only one who seems to have the experience that most candidates before Donald Trump would have considered necessary to lead the executive branch.
Following Clinton’s loss in 2016, somewhat of a power vacuum opened up in terms of a democratic frontrunner. With Joe Biden stepping aside to spend more time with his family following the loss of his son and the media scrutiny endured, one of the most likely potentials seemed off the table (though he may still surprise us all!). Elizabeth Warren is another well-known name and has risen to higher and higher fame following her frequent criticisms of Donald Trump and his jabs back at her over her Native American Heritage, however she too has not yet declared an intent to run or a desire to do so. There are of course a great deal of democratic senators, house members, former cabinet members and others who all could be on a “short list” for candidacy but at this point John Delaney represents a lone horse.
So why is this important? After all the elections are 2 years away and we’ll likely hear more about emerging candidates by then or Delaney could be swept aside completely. For starters, many political analysts have been predicting that the Democratic field will likely mirror that of the Republican field in 2016 and be highly populated. Delaney has a HUGE advantage by getting out early in the pack and getting somewhat of a name recognition before he has to fight for camera time. Another important reason is that Donald Trump dominates news coverage across the world due to his tweets and frequent staff shakeups among other things, and any candidate who goes up against him will have to be able to hold a news cycle and generate the same exposure that Trump can rather than trailing behind.
Going onto his website Delaney gives a short summary of his vision, stating “The American people are far greater than the sum of our political parties. 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.” (https://www.johnkdelaney.com/). Doing a bit more research, one can find that he attended Columbia and Georgetown and even has founded his own businesses however there is little other information on his policies or views other than that he is pro-union due to his father’s work as an electrician. Most of the rest of the website is vague statements such as having a “commitment to give back” or “having a policy centered on a strong national defense”, however there is little beyond a democractic generality of ideals and no mention of people of color or LGBT which may hurt him as NPR is predicting as many as 30% of voters will be non-white by 2020.
Whatever the case, Delaney matters most now because he is a name to rally around. Even if hes not THE candidate, he is a representation of a democratic fight to take back the White House following the tumultuous reign of Trump and the beginnings of the next chapter in the Democratic legacy and rebuilding.