Editor’s note: This article, originally published at 8:32 p.m. Sept. 11, 2023, was updated at 11 a.m. Sept. 12, 2023. The earlier version of this article incorrectly reported the status of McClain-Delaney’s communications with the Commerce Department and the status of discussions with potential consultants.
April McClain-Delaney, an attorney who most recently has been a high-ranking official in the Biden administration’s Commerce Department, plans to announce in October that she is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the District 6 congressional seat, according to a source with direct knowledge of her plans.
The source, who requested anonymity due to not being authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said McClain-Delaney planned to give notice to the Commerce Department’s chief of staff that she intended to resign her post as deputy assistant secretary for communications and information. Prior to joining the administration, McClain-Delaney – who has a long background in telecommunications issues — was Washington director of an advocacy group dealing with children’s television programming.
McClain-Delaney, a Potomac resident, will be seeking the congressional seat held from 2012-2018 by her husband, John K. Delaney, a multimillionaire businessman who left Capitol Hill to make an unsuccessful bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Since 2018, the District 6 seat has been held by David Trone, another wealthy Potomac businessman who is giving it up next year to make a run for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin.
The District 6 seat is expected to be the only competitive House race in Maryland in 2024. It was redrawn in 2022 to become politically marginal after being transformed from a Republican-dominated district to a Democratic-leaning one 10 years earlier.
McClain-Delaney’s entry will give the race a high-profile, well-funded contender in a Democratic District 6 primary that has previously attracted 11 candidates. The Republican field contains six announced candidates, with several others considering a run.
McClain-Delaney did not respond immediately Monday evening to requests for comment on the news via text, phone call and voicemail.
John Delaney earned his wealth from banking and health care ventures prior to entering politics. April McClain-Delaney plans an aggressive effort to raise funds from outside contributors, according to the source. But it is widely expected that some of the assets held by her and her husband will be invested in the contest, although not on a scale of the personal funds that Trone has pumped into his campaigns for office.
While Trone spent $45 million out of his own pocket in four runs for the House of Representatives – along with self-funding his current Senate campaign with nearly $10 million – John Delaney invested about a total of about $3.7 million of his personal fortune into three House campaigns, according to Open Secrets, a Washington-based non-partisan organization that tracks money in politics.
April McClain-Delaney has yet to begin raising money due to Hatch Act restrictions that govern political activities by federal officials, the source said.