2018 | Politics

Politics Roundup: Delaney Finishes Visiting All 99 Iowa Counties in 2020 Presidential Bid

Plus: Construction trades union endorses Hogan, Rockville executive to go up against Cardin on November ballot

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U.S. Rep. John Delaney

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Delaney completes 99-county tour of Iowa

In the past week, John Delaney has expounded on tariffs in coffee shops decorated with kerosene lanterns and what look like vintage corn sacks. The Potomac congressman has attended something called the “Democratic Wing Ding.” He has appeared in tweets that incorporate pig and corn emojis.

And, on Sunday, Delaney finished his tour of all 99 Iowa counties as part of his early-bird presidential campaign

“We’re running an old-fashioned Caucus campaign and giving the voters the respect they deserve – they want to talk to you one-on-one, hear your platform, get to know you and also make sure you know what’s important to them,” Delaney said in a news release.

Delaney has visited the Midwestern state 14 times since launching his presidential bid last July and has already spent more than $1 million on television ads targeting Cedar Rapids and Des Moines. On this trip, he’s crisscrossing the state with more than 20 campaign stops, and judging by social media, it was a week of handshakes, business-casual attire and wearing out the hashtag #99counties.

A press release detailing his Wednesday-through-Sunday itinerary reported that Delaney’s final stop in Iowa will be at a Pizza Ranch in Carroll, Iowa.

Delaney is not exactly a household name in much of the country – a recent POLITICO article described him first as a “little-known Maryland congressman” and later doubled down by adding he is “virtually unknown outside of Maryland.”

Still, the Sioux City Journal last month reported on a poll suggesting he might be gaining ground in Iowa. The Iowa poll found Delaney was recognized by more than half the likely Democratic caucus goers surveyed, higher than Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar and a few others. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker were more familiar to those polled.

Hogan captures a nod from construction trades union

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has won over a construction trades union that once wasn’t so fond of him four years ago.

The Laborers’ International Union of North American typically supports Democrats but is backing Hogan, a Republican, for re-election because he’s prioritized improving roads and bridges, The Washington Post reports. In the Democratic primary, the union had endorsed state Sen. Richard Madaleno of Kensington; former NAACP president Ben Jealous ended up capturing the party nomination.

Four years ago, the construction workers union supported Hogan’s Democratic rival, Anthony G. Brown, and loaned him $500,000 in the lead-up to Election Day.

Rockville executive earns place on ballot to challenge Cardin for Senate

Neal Simon, leader of a Rockville wealth management firm, will appear on November’s ballot as an independent candidate for Maryland’s U.S. Senate seat after meeting a state requirement to gather 10,000 signatures.

Simon will go up against incumbent Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat, in this fall’s election.

The unaffiliated candidate had submitted more than 17,000 signatures to the Maryland State Board of Elections after collecting them from voters across the state, according to a news release.

“I’ve traveled the state this summer meeting voters and listening to their concerns, and there’s a real desire for fresh leadership that will bring people together and get things done,” Simon said in a prepared statement. “As a senator, I will put Maryland’s and the nation’s needs over party power and special interests and serve as an independent voice to find common ground and drive consensus for common-sense solutions to our most pressing problems.”

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.