The next presidential election is still 1,194 days away, but President Trump already has his first challenger in the 2020 race.
“I'm running for President,” Maryland Democratic Rep. John Delaney tweeted Friday.
Delaney, a wealthy former bank executive who represents Maryland’s sixth district in the Washington suburbs but is not known nationally, was elected to Congress in 2012.
In a Washington Post opinion piece announcing his run for the Democratic nomination, Delaney cited the Democratic Party’s “recent electoral failures” and called for a “different approach -- one that’s focused on the facts and the future.”
Delaney had considered challenging Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the state’s upcoming gubernatorial race, but Hogan remains popular.
The congressman insisted Friday he is serious about his White House campaign. The Democratic lawmaker said he will not be running for re-election to his congressional seat.
“To do this work with the commitment it deserves, I will not be running for reelection to the House of Representatives,” Delaney said.
“No games, no cat-and-mouse, no backup plan at the 11th hour if a focus group goes badly,” he added.
Delaney, who is socially liberal, emphasized his pro-business views in his announcement.
“We need to encourage a more just and inclusive form of capitalism and reduce barriers to small-business formation, start-ups, job creation, investment and growth,” Delaney said.
No other major candidates, in either the Republican or Democratic Party, have yet announced plans to run in 2020. Midterm elections won’t take place until November 2018.
But several Senate Democrats, including California's Kamala Harris and Massachusetts' Elizabeth Warren, are seen as possible contenders.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Democratic socialist who energized young liberals during the 2016 Democratic primary, also hasn’t ruled out another campaign. And 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has not faded into the political background, either, set to release a book about the past election titled “What Happened.”