Delaney, Seeking Donors, Offers to Split the Cut With Md. Dems

    Self-funding a presidential campaign has its advantages.

    Instead of wasting time grubbing for money, you can put your hard-earned dollars to work immediately and hit the hustings in early primary and caucus states. That’s been the strategy for former Maryland congressman John K. Delaney, the first Democrat to enter the 2020 presidential contest two full years ago. He has spent more time in Iowa so far than any of the other candidates.

    But the self-funding approach has its drawbacks, and Delaney could be in danger of falling short of the qualifications needed to appear in the next round of Democratic presidential debates, on Sept. 12 and 13.

    Candidates need to reach 2% in at least four polls approved by the Democratic National Committee and receive campaign contributions from at least 130,00 unique donors by Aug. 28 to qualify for the next debates.

    So Delaney is scrambling now for campaign contributions – and he’s turning to old friends back home in Maryland for help.

    Delaney on Wednesday circulated an email appeal to Maryland Democrats pledging to split whatever proceeds he receives for his presidential bid with the Maryland Democratic Party.

    Earlier this year, in order to qualify for the first round of debates, Delaney promised to share half of his campaign contributions with nonprofit organizations.

    “In Maryland, we aren’t afraid to roll up our sleeves and do the work that needs to get done,” Delaney wrote. “That’s because we focus on real solutions that everyday Americans need — and we don’t get distracted by shiny promises that will be impossible to fulfill.”

    The latter sentence was a not-so-subtle dig at two of his opponents, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with whom he sparred at the late July debates.

    Delaney said he is “running on a platform that addresses [problems] in a practical, feasible way — the Maryland way.

    “April and I have been and will continue to be strong supporters of MD Democrats, but now we need your help in getting the 130,000 donors needed to qualify for the fall debate stage.”

    The appeal concludes: “I’m sick and tired of politics as usual. I’m ready to bring real and meaningful change to this country. Will you help me do that by chipping in to my campaign and the Maryland Dems today?”

    [email protected]

    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.