John Kevin Delaney was born to an electrician in Wood Ridge, New Jersey, in April 1963.

Delaney’s Early Life

Delaney, who was of Irish ancestry, grew up Catholic and attributes his “social justice orientation” to his religious upbringing.

Education

Delaney was able to attend college through a series of scholarships from organizations such as his father’s labor union, allowing him to attend university. “I was a blue-collar kid, first in my family to go to college, went to Columbia for college, Georgetown law,” he told uPolitics.

Business Career

After graduating from college Delaney went on to co-found two companies that were publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1993, five years after graduating from Georgetown, Delaney co-founded Health Care Financial Partners (HCFP) with the goal of providing loans for smaller healthcare providers that were ignored by banks. A year after its public opening in 1998, the company was acquired by Heller Financial.

In 2000 Delaney co-founded CapitalSource, a Maryland-based commercial lender that provided funding for small- and mid-sized businesses. While Delaney was CEO the company was awarded a Bank Enterprise Award from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund by the U.S. Treasury Department for its investment in low-income and economically distressed communities. The company was also named one of the best places to work at by Washington Magazine in 2005. Delaney himself won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2004.

House of Representatives (2012-2018)

When asked about his entrance into politics, Delaney told uPolitics, “about ten years ago my wife and I decided to dedicate the rest of our lives to public service. We felt like we had been very blessed and that we really should give back with the rest of our time.”

In 2012 Delaney decided to run for Congress in the newly redrawn 6th district of Maryland. The district had previously been a Republican stronghold, but due to Democratic gerrymandering, it became a slightly Democratic-leaning district. In 2012 Delaney won the newly redrawn region by 21 points. He continued to be victorious in the next two elections but eschewed the 2018 elections in order to focus on his newly announced bid for the presidency.

Political Tenure:

  • Even though he won in a gerrymandered district, Delaney introduced the Open Our Democracy Act of 2017 which would have ended partisan redistricting by appointing independent nonpartisan commissions to draw new districts instead of having the party in power do so.
    • The bill would also make Election Day a federal holiday and open up primary elections to all voters, regardless of party
  • Delaney was listed as the 53rd most bipartisan member of the House of Representatives during the 114th Congress in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center
  • Delaney was a founding member of the Climate Solutions Caucus and the Artificial Intelligence Caucus
  • Other key bills sponsored:
    • Medical Leave for Disabled Veterans Act: A bill to make it easier for veterans to be eligible for assistance for their service-related disabilities
    • Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education Improvement Act of 2013: An extension to the Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education
    • Partnership to Build America Act of 2013: A bill to establish the American Infrastructure Fund
    • Infrastructure 2.0 Act: A law to fund an infrastructure bank and the Highway Trust Fund by using revenue from international tax reform
    • Medical Foods Equity Act of 2013: An extension of coverage on medical foods, vitamins, and amino acids to those with metabolic disabilities

Domestic Life

Delaney met his wife April while they were students together at Georgetown University Law Center, which he said was the “best thing that ever happened to me.” He and his wife have four daughters, two of whom are currently attending Northwestern University

2020 Election

Delaney was the first candidate to announce a presidential bid, starting his campaign in early 2017. He stated that he announced so early in order to use the extra time to build name recognition and help him stand out in what he expected would be a crowded primary field. One of Delaney’s unique ideas is for the president to debate Congress four times a year in order to increase the transparency of the president’s ideas as well as prove that they are capable of defending their own proposals.

2020 Positions (with links to excerpts from an exclusive interview with uPolitics)

Climate Change:

  • Delaney would create a carbon tax and would use the revenue from that to give a dividend to citizens, similar to Andrew Yang’s freedom dividend idea
    • He insists that a carbon tax would reduce emissions by 92% and that it would be supported by coastal republicans whose cities are in danger of flooding due to climate change
  • The lawmaker would also increase funding to the Department of Energy’s research section by 500% from $6 million to $30 million
  • Delaney also advocates for the creation of a market for negative emissions technology by providing financial incentives

Healthcare:

  • Delaney would create a universal healthcare system similar to the single-payer system supported by many other Democratic candidates
    • He would keep Medicare, the healthcare system for those over 65, but create a new universal system of healthcare for those below 65
    • Delaney would fund this system “By eliminating the corporate deductibility of healthcare, which is the largest tax exemption that we have right now.”
    • While the system would not be single-payer, it would be universal, so everyone would have health care

Economics:

  • Delaney would boost the economy by investing in infrastructure, funding research in artificial intelligence, and reentering the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade agreement with several Asian countries.
  • He would also increase the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is a refundable tax credit for low- to moderate-income working individuals and couples, especially those who have children.

Immigration:

  • Delaney supports easing the path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, as well as increased refugee resettlement caps
  • He also supports an increase in border security to prevent the entrance of further illegal immigrants

Foreign Policy:

  • Delaney supports working with America’s global allies instead of pursuing a policy of isolation

Campaign Issues:

  • Delaney supports increasing election security to ensure that there is no electoral meddling
  • He opposes gerrymandering, big money in politics, and voter suppression
  • Delaney has promised to donate $2 of his own money to charity for each donor he receives

Gun Control:

  • He supports universal background checks and limitations on some types of extreme weaponry
  • Delaney also supports red flag laws which allow a family member to receive assistance from the judiciary to prevent a relative from harming someone with a gun

Criminal Justice:

  • Delaney supports restoring voting rights to felons
  • He is against minimum sentences, claiming that they achieve nothing
  • The Maryland lawmaker wants to help those caught up in the justice system get their life back on track by providing education and assistance, as well as preventing employers from asking about previous criminal history

Impeachment:

  • While Delaney admits that the president has committed impeachable offenses, he believes that it is not beneficial for the country to begin impeachment as there is little chance of a conviction

Education:

  • Delaney supports universal pre-K, which he would fund through a tax on those earning over $500,000
  • He also supports a national service initiative which would force recent high school graduates to choose between military service, infrastructure apprenticeships, and community service

Abortion:

  • Delaney supports legal abortions and he is also an advocate for federally funded abortions
  • He has received a 100% score from the organization NARAL Pro-Choice America

LGBTQ:

  • Delaney supports banning conversion therapy for LGBTQ individuals
  • He also supports the Equality Act which would make it a crime to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation or gender