David Trone Establishes Campaign-Style Office

David Trone Establishes Campaign-Style Office

Spokesman says the Potomac businessman has not formally decided whether he will run for office

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Folding chairs and a David Trone sign inside the office space at the Cabin John Mall

Andrew Metcalf

Total Wine & More founder David Trone has not decided whether he will run for Montgomery County executive or some other political office in 2018, but he now has an office in Potomac for “non-corporate” activities, according to Total Wine spokesman Edward Cooper.

Bethesda Beat stopped by the office Wednesday afternoon. Though the door was locked and the space appeared unoccupied, the windows were uncovered and inside were stacks of folding tables, large David Trone for Congress campaign signs and several work spaces with computers.

Cooper said in an email to Bethesda Beat on Tuesday “the office space is to separate” Trone’s  “corporate and non-corporate activities.”

Painting or other work appeared to be ongoing inside the second floor office space on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

The office is in part of the space that was formerly occupied by Total Wine & More on the floor above the Cabin John Mall on Seven Locks Road before the company relocated its headquarters to Rockledge Drive in Bethesda in 2015.

Trone’s new office is different from the Rockville Pike campaign headquarters he used in his unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2016—a race in which Trone, a Democrat, spent more than $13 million of his own money.

Cooper did not respond to a question about whether Trone had hired campaign staffers.

In January, Trone, who lives in Potomac, said he was considering running for county executive and that he was conducting polling about the race.

Since the end of January, Trone has become much more active on his Twitter account—responding to users and tweeting his thoughts on an almost daily basis, even taking on trolls.

On Wednesday, in response to @vetconservative who referred to him as a socialist, Trone wrote, “Thank you for service. I’m not a socialist, but I do believe government can be used to better peoples’ lives.”

On March 24, in response to a user who questioned Trone’s past donations to Republican candidates, Trone responded “I was the largest donor to the DNC [Democratic National Committee] in 2015.”

He also congratulated Rep. John Delaney for being named one of Fortune’s 50 greatest leaders, shared his support for the Purple Line and declared his passion for creating economic opportunities for everyone.

Trone’s entry into the county executive race could upend the economics of a race that has two announced candidates so far—County Council members Marc Elrich and George Leventhal—who both plan to use public financing, which limits candidates to a maximum of $750,000 in matching county funds.

County Council President Roger Berliner is also considering entering the race while Del. Ben Kramer (D-Wheaton) is considering a run as well.

The existence of the office space seems to signal that Trone could be preparing to jump into the race soon, although Cooper said in his email Trone has not decided whether to run.

It’s also possible that Trone could run for the District 6 Congressional seat currently occupied by Delaney—if Delaney decides to take on Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in 2018.

The new office established by Trone is in the 6th Congressional District.

Trone told Bethesda Beat in January that if Delaney decided to run for governor, he would think about running for the district seat.

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