Trone launches re-election bid with long list of endorsements

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Rep. David J. Trone (D), the businessman-turned-politician who represents Maryland’s westernmost congressional district, has decided not to run for governor next year.

Instead, he will seek a third term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Trone announced his decision in a media release on Friday morning. He is the second Democratic officeholder in as many days to opt not to enter the 2022 gubernatorial primary.

On Thursday, Baltimore County Executive Johnny A. Olszewski Jr. (D) announced that he will seek a second term in Towson.

Since entering Congress in 2019, Trone has focused on addiction issues, criminal justice reform and medical research funding.

“Serving the people of Maryland’s Sixth District for the last two and a half years has been an honor,” he said in a statement. “Leading with compassion, civility, and competence, we’ve been able to accomplish great things, from addressing the addiction and mental health crises ravaging our communities, to reforming our unjust criminal justice system and working to fund lifesaving medical research.”

“I’m excited to continue bringing innovative solutions and a long-term vision to Congress, working to invest in the people and create a brighter future for all of our children. I believe in the American dream, and I believe that if we come together as Americans, we can give everyone a chance to achieve it.”

In announcing his re-election bid, Trone released a list of endorsements from 31 current and former elected leaders, including former Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner (D), Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker (D), state Senate Majority Leader Nancy J. King (D-Montgomery), state Sen. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery), Del. Kathleen Dumais (D-Montgomery) and Hagerstown Mayor Emily Keller.

How close Trone came to pulling the trigger on a gubernatorial bid is unclear. A wealthy liquor chain owner, he has poured tens of millions of dollars into three congressional campaigns, including a bid for the neighboring 8th District in 2016 that fell short.

His ability to self-fund his campaigns and his cross-party appeal — he carried one of the state’s most conservative districts easily last fall — could have made him a top-tier candidate, analysts said.

The decisions by Olszewski and Trone not to run for the State House serve as a potential boost for Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot’s campaign. Franchot (D) has a fat war-chest and will likely be the only current officeholder to seek the post that Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) will vacate due to term limits in 2023.

Former state delegate Aruna Miller (D), who ran for the House in 2018, finishing second to Trone in an 8-candidate race, raised $229,000 in the most recent reporting period. She has $224,000 in her campaign account.

She declined to comment about her 2022 plans on Thursday.

Trone raised contributions of $52,000 in the first quarter of the year; almost all of it from money he loaned his campaign. He has $36,000 cash on hand.

Three Republicans filed campaign finance reports with the FEC for the period that ended March 31. Del. Neil C. Parrott, who lost to Trone by 20 points in November, reported $123,000 cash on hand. The others reported little or no activity.

Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees in the Congress.

Other local officials supporting his re-election bid, according to his campaign, are:

  • Montgomery County Delegates Kumar Barve, David Fraser-Hidalgo, Julie Palakovich Carr, Del. Lily Qi, and Del. Kirill Reznik;
  • Montgomery County Senators Susan Lee and Cheryl Kagan;
  • Montgomery County Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz, Evan Glass, Will Jawando, Andrew Friedson, Craig Rice, Sidney Katz and Nancy Navarro;
  • Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman;
  • Sen. Ron Young, Del. Carol Krimm, Del. Karen Lewis Young, Del. Ken Kerr (all D-Frederick);
    Hagerstown Councilwoman Tiara Burnett;
  • and Cumberland City Councilmembers Seth Bernard and Richard ‘Rock’ Cioni.

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