- John Delaney, former U.S. Representative of Maryland, announced he was running for president on July 28, 2017.
- When he served, Delaney was the wealthiest Democrat in Congress, with a net worth that’s estimated to be in the nine-figure range.
- Delaney’s presidential bid is primarily self-financed, meaning he has loaned his campaign millions, according to the FEC.
If you had to equate the Democratic presidential primary field to a means of transportation, it would be a clown car — it’s just that crowded. One of the 20 democrats running for president is former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, a multi-millionaire who graduated from blue-collar roots to make his fortune in the healthcare industry.
To his credit, Delaney was the first of the Democratic party’s 2020 presidential candidates to announce he was running for president on July 28, 2017, and he has been campaigning for more than two years. However, being the first to cross the starting line doesn’t always guarantee you’ll win the race. According to data from RealClearPolitics, Delaney is polling at second-to-last at 0.1% — tied with New York Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, who dropped out on Aug. 28. Delaney said he would not drop out that same day, and he is polling ahead of only Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak, who was polling at 0.0% at the end of August.
To look at John Delaney as a candidate requires acknowledging his massive fortune — and his penchant for campaign self-financing. Read on to see how Delaney made his millions, and how he’s spending it in hopes of becoming the 46th President of the United States.
- Net Worth: $55,839,192 to $279,739,027
- Date of Birth: April 16, 1963
- Primary Sources of Wealth: Founded two publicly traded lending companies
- Career Highlights: Elected Rep. for Maryland’s 6th District; published author
Who Is John Delaney?
John Delaney was raised in a blue-collar family: His father was a unionized electrician, while his mother stayed at home to raise their children. His parents never had the chance to attend college, but Delaney forged a path in higher education by graduating from Columbia University in 1985 and Georgetown University Law Center in 1988. He believes in the American dream because he has lived it, according to his campaign website.
Upon graduating from law school, Delaney practiced as a lawyer at Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge briefly before deciding that he wanted to create his own company. In 1993, he founded HealthCare Financial Partners, a lender to healthcare companies, and in 2000 he co-founded CapitalSource, a lender to small- and mid-sized businesses. By the time he turned 40, Delaney had launched two publicly traded companies that created thousands of jobs. When he founded HealthCare Financial Partners, Delaney was the youngest CEO on the New York Stock Exchange.
In 2012, Delaney stepped down as executive chairman of CapitalSource after becoming the democratic nominee in the Congressional race for Maryland’s 6th District. He defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett in 2012 and served in the House of Representatives from Jan. 3, 2013 to Jan. 3, 2019. He didn’t run for re-election so he could focus on his 2020 presidential bid, which he announced in a Washington Post opinion piece that was published on July 28, 2017.
On May 28, 2018, Delaney released his book, “The Right Answer: How We Can Unify Our Divided Nation.” Delaney lives with his wife, April, and four daughters in Montgomery County, Maryland.
John Delaney’s Net Worth: $55.8M to $279.7M
Rep. John Delaney’s net worth sits somewhere between $55,839,192 and $279,739,027, according to a financial disclosure statement released in June 2019 and compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. The Center estimated his net worth at $232,816,089 in 2015, ranking him as the third-richest member of the House of Representatives, and the wealthiest Democrat in Congress at the time.
Diving into Delaney’s financial disclosure statement gives you plenty of insight into the entrepreneur’s investing style. The statement itself is nearly 30 pages long and shows a diverse investment portfolio that includes stocks, ETFs, hedge funds, municipal bonds, treasury bills– and everything in between. According to the statement, Delaney made $935,496 as a co-founder/director at Alliance Partners Holdings, LLC in 2018. He owns stock in a host of blue-chip companies, including Coca-Cola and Microsoft; he invests between $1 million and $5 million in a Vanguard S&P 500 ETF. Delaney and his wife own a rental property in Sea Island, Georgia, which garnered them between $10,001 and $1 million in income last year.
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John Delaney’s 2020 Campaign
Rep. Delaney has spent millions of his own money on his campaign, but that’s not really news. He did the same thing starting in 2011 when he first ran to represent Maryland’s 6th District. During that race, he loaned $2.3 million of his money to the campaign and raised another $2.2 million, according to the Federal Election Commission. With more than $4 million in his pocket, he went on to defeat Democrat Robert J. Garagiola in the primaries and incumbent Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett in the 2012 general election.
Delaney hasn’t been able to buy success so far for the presidential race. According to the FEC, Delaney has loaned more than $24 million to his own campaign. His campaign has raised another $2.2 million, which includes individual contributions and political action committee contributions. His “burn rate” — or campaign funds spend vs. raised — is 756.2%, which means that he’s spent about 7.6x the amount that he has raised. That’s because the John Delaney campaign is primarily self-financed.
Despite his best efforts, Delaney is polling at 0.1%, according to polling data compiled by RealClearPolitics. He didn’t qualify for the third round of debates, which had stricter requirements set by the Democratic National Committee. Candidates had to reach at least 2% in four DNC-approved national or early-state polls by Aug. 28. Additionally, candidates needed at least 130,000 unique donors, with at least 400 unique donors from 20 states. Although he didn’t qualify for the Sept. 12 debate, he has decided to stay in the race.
“When you’ve been in Iowa and New Hampshire as I have and you talk to voters, you realize very few voters are even decided at this point,” Delaney told the Baltimore Sun. “And I think we’re going to have a dramatically changing field. I just think there’s a lot of action left in this primary.”
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My message to farmers is simple. The day I'm sworn in as President every acre of farmland will go up in value. How? Because I will join the TPP my first month as President and open up markets for American farmers. That's a message to win rural America! https://t.co/aA2dqGO94z
— John Delaney (@JohnDelaney) August 28, 2019
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John Delaney’s Platform
A John Delaney presidency might be a long shot, but his policies, for the most part, would align with the Democratic party as a whole. Here’s a highlight of Delaney’s “Vision for America.”
To distance himself with Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal, Delaney has proposed an alternative to the current system called BetterCare. This would involve creating a new healthcare option that’s available to all Americans under 65 while preserving Medicare. The goal is to expand on President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, preserve private health insurance options and guarantee universal coverage.
Delaney’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan would aim to restore America’s roads, school, public transit systems and more. According to his campaign website, this would also be a job creator and boost the economy. Delaney aims to pay for this plan by raising the corporate tax rate to 27% and raising the federal gas tax to account for inflation.
In addition to rejoining the Paris Agreement on day one of his presidency, Delaney would also launch an ambitious $4 trillion climate plan with the end goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. While he served in Congress, Delaney proposed a bipartisan Carbon Fee and Dividend bill to put a cap on corporate pollution. His new plan would expand on that principle, also increasing the federal renewable energy research budget five-fold.
The John Delaney for President campaign website is extensive and covers an abundance of other policies that could affect your wallet. Delaney believes in:
- Creating a national artificial intelligence strategy
- Reforming the criminal justice system
- Creating a clear path to American citizenship
- Fixing America’s broken political system
- Raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour
- Lowering the cost of higher education
- Lowering prescription drug costs
- Protecting a woman’s right to choose
You might not see him on the national debate stage in September. But if John Delaney has anything to do with it, he won’t be dropping out of the 2020 presidential election anytime soon.
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Erika Giovanetti is a writer who has covered a multitude of subjects, from personal finance to politics to the great outdoors. Her political coverage dates back to the 2016 election when she wrote about local and national politics.