David Trone is preparing to make a long-awaited announcement that’s expected to have ramifications for the county’s political scene.
Trone told Bethesda Beat on Tuesday that he will announce on Wednesday which elected office he plans to pursue. He would not say in a phone interview whether he’ll pursue Rep. John Delaney’s 6th District congressional seat or try to become Montgomery County executive—the two offices he’s previously said he’s considering.
He said his campaign will focus on improving government operations.
“With the craziness and dysfunctionality in government today, we need public servants with common sense and a simple desire to make things better,” Trone said Tuesday.
The Potomac Democrat is the co-owner of the national alcohol retailer Total Wine & More, based in Bethesda.
There’s been political speculation since Delaney announced his presidential run last week that Trone would pursue the 6th District seat. Trone previously said he would only consider doing so if Delaney decided not to run for re-election.
Trone is a longtime donor to national Democrats and spent $13 million of his own fortune on the 2014 Democratic primary for the 8th District congressional seat. He finished second in the primary to Jamie Raskin, who went on to win the general election.
Trone’s Twitter wall photo is a picture of him speaking with former President Barack Obama and his recent posts have criticized Trump’s policies. He has called for bipartisan support to stop attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, another Congress-level issue.
Trone’s entrance into the 6th District race would likely pit him against established Montgomery County state representatives—Dels. Bill Frick (D-Bethesda) and Aruna Miller (D-Darnestown), as well as Sen. Roger Manno (D-Silver Spring)—in a Democratic primary. Frick and Miller have started raising money for the race, while Manno has been campaigning in the congressional district, which stretches from Potomac through Frederick County and includes Western Maryland.
If Trone chooses to run for Montgomery County executive, he’d be up against three County Council members who are all term-limited from running for council again—Democrats George Leventhal, Roger Berliner and Marc Elrich. Trone would immediately benefit from a cash advantage over the council members, given his personal wealth.
Leventhal and Elrich are using the county’s new public financing system, which limits them to $750,000 in matching county funds and requires them to only accept contributions of $150 or less. Berliner is using traditional campaign financing, which allows him to raise up to $4,000 from an individual during the election cycle.