Democrat businessman John Delaney won the endorsement of President Bill Clinton on Monday in his bid for Maryland's 6th Congressional District.

Clinton's endorsement is a significant one for the Potomac financier, who has widely been seen as having less institutional Democratic support in the competitive race than his leading opponent, state Sen. Rob Garagiola. The announcement also comes as Garagiola's campaign has questioned Delaney's loyalty to the party, noting a political contribution to Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris in 2010.

"John Delaney is a lifelong Democrat who has real life job creation experience," Clinton said in a statement released by the campaign. "His commitment to equality, economic growth and fairness will make him an effective advocate for the middle class, a strong advocate for job creation, and a trusted ally for reform."

The endorsement also underscores an apparent long-established political alliance between Delaney and the Clinton family. Delaney raised some $800,000 for then Sen. Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008, according to his campaign, and he has given $56,000 to the Democratic National Committee.

Clinton's name has previously been invoked in the race. Former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers is featured in a recent radio advertisement for Delaney.

Maryland's 6th District is currently held by Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, who is seeking an 11th term. But the district became more friendly to Democrats in last year's redistricting and national party leaders hope it is an opportunity for them to pick off an incumbent Republican.

"During his presidency 22 million jobs were created and we turned budget deficits into surpluses," Delaney said in a statement. "Like President Clinton, I will be a voice in Congress for hard-working Americans who need more economic growth and want their elected officials to work together and show respect for core democratic values."