Who is John Delaney? A bio of the Democratic presidential candidate
Editor's note: This story is part of PolitiFact’s ongoing coverage of the 2020 campaign; these reports will be updated as the campaign continues. For more candidate profiles and fact-checking, go to www.politifact.com/2020/
Today’s large 2020 Democratic presidential field was born when businessman and then-Rep. John Delaney declared his candidacy way back in July 2017.
Seeing Hillary Clinton lose the presidential race to Donald Trump in 2016 "made me say, 'We have to think differently about everything,' " Delaney recalled in an interview with WBUR radio. "We really need to move to a bit of a post-partisan world."
Delaney grew up in Wood-Ridge, N.J.; his mother was a homemaker and his father was a union electrician who never attended college. Delaney worked summers assisting his father on electrical jobs, and fellow union members were among those who contributed money to send the younger Delaney to college. He earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and a law degree from Georgetown University.
Delaney founded HealthCare Financial Partners in 1993, enabling him to become the youngest CEO of a New York Stock Exchange-traded company. Later, he founded CapitalSource, which invested in small- and medium-sized businesses.
Delaney’s experience as an entrepreneur made him one of the wealthiest members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and he has largely run for president using his own fortune.
In 2012, aided by a favorable redrawing of Maryland’s congressional maps, Delaney challenged a 10-term Republican incumbent, Roscoe Bartlett. He won the Democratic primary as an underdog and then defeated Bartlett. Delaney won the seat twice more before deciding to run for president. He left office in 2019.
Delaney pitches himself as socially liberal and economically moderate, and he’s expressed a desire for bipartisan cooperation.
As a candidate, Delaney has introduced a $2 trillion infrastructure plan as well as a $4 trillion climate plan that includes a carbon tax and a national-service "climate corps." He supports comprehensive immigration reform and universal health coverage, though he’s pointedly said that he disagrees with making private insurance illegal.
Delaney has also called for a federal Department of Cybersecurity and creation of a national strategy for artificial intelligence.
Name: John Delaney
Current occupation: Presidential candidate
Party: Democratic Party
Federal offices: U.S. House of Representatives from 6th District of Maryland, 2013-19
Key votes: Revise Obamacare: No; tax cuts: No; Revise Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill: No.
State and local offices: none
Private sector work: Founder of Health Care Financial Partners, 1993-1999; Founder of Capital Source 2000-2012.
Books authored: "The Right Answer: How We Can Unify Our Divided Nation" (2018)
Education: Columbia University, B.S.; Georgetown University, J.D.
Birth date: April 16, 1963
Personal life: April McClain (spouse); four daughters
Top issues: Climate change, infrastructure, health care, immigration, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.
Endorsements: U.S. Reps. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., and David Trone, D-Md.
Major donors: Delaney himself contributed nearly 90% of the money raised by his campaign through March 31, 2019.
Miscellaneous: A New Jersey native, he has seen Bruce Springsteen in concert more than 30 times.
Other coverage: PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter; Op-ed by Delaney in the Washington Post, "Medicare-for-all is political suicide for Democrats," June 6, 2019; Politico, "How John Delaney would address climate change," May 23, 2019; Omaha World-Herald, "In a time of extremes, John Delaney bets Iowans will go for a proudly moderate candidate," May 27, 2019; WBUR, "Meet The Democrat Who Was The First To Declare A 2020 Presidential Bid," Feb. 8, 2019
Campaign website: www.johndelaney.com