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Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 19, 2018

Maryland congressman brings presidential campaign to Iowa State Fair

Too early? ‘More time strikes me as the right answer,’ Delaney says
Aug 03, 2017

By James Q. Lynch, The Gazette


John Delaney plans to spend a few days at the Iowa State Fair being a “normal person enjoying the fair with my family.”

He’ll also talk about his plans to seek the presidency in 2020.

The three-term Democratic U.S. representative from Maryland acknowledges it’s an early start by conventional standards. In fact, launching a presidential campaign 1,194 days before the election is a record, according to Smart Politics.

But it doesn’t seem like much time to Delaney. He said talking with voters, sharing his vision and listening to concerns is a good thing.

“More time strikes me as the right answer,” he said.

Delaney, 54, said he’s not the only one already running — he’s merely the only one to publicly announce his intentions. According to CNN, at least 22 Democrats are considered possible candidates. At least two of them, U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, will visit Iowa in September, and Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will be in Iowa on Aug. 31.

In addition to spending a few days at the fair, which runs Aug. 10-20, Delaney plans to meet with people who might be interested in being a part of his campaign.

It’s not his first Iowa visit. Delaney campaigned for Jim Mowrer, a two-time congressional candidate. Before that, Delaney, who started two companies now publicly traded, visited Iowa to see clients.

While he doesn’t embrace the “generic Democrat” label, Delaney said most in his party share a common set of goals and values.

“We all want health care for all Americans. We all want to take positive steps to build the middle class. We all want to do some concrete things to deal with risks like climate,” he said.

“I have progressive instincts, which is why some of the things I say sound like other Democrats,” he said. The difference, Delaney said, is that he favors market solutions to achieve those goals.

“It’s probably the entrepreneur in me. I really believe in the power of private markets,” he said.

For example, in how technology, automation and global markets are changing the economy, he calls those trends “fundamentally positive, but not for everyone.”

“So public policy should be oriented toward making sure these trends can continue to benefit people, but we should try to bend them to help more Americans,” he said.

He sees the private economy as a “miraculous innovation machine that has continued to improve the standard of living of the average American if you go back over time.”

“It’s not always perfect in helping everyone,” Delaney said. “As policymakers, we should make sure those left behind are taken care of and to create incentives to a capitalism that is more inclusive and more just.”

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