Democratic House candidate John Delaney secured the support of state comptroller Peter Franchot on Tuesday, the latest in a series of high-profile endorsements for the Potomac businessman in his bid for the nomination in Maryland's 6th Congressional District.
Franchot arrived at Delaney's campaign headquarters in Gaithersburg to deliver the news to several dozen volunteers and prominent Democrats, including former Montgomery County executive Doug Duncan, who has long backed Delaney in the race.
"We need his expertise in Congress -- not just rhetoric," Franchot told the crowd. "He brings new talent to our party, he brings new energy, new vision."
Franchot's nod comes days after Delaney received the endorsement of The Washington Post's editorial page and former President Bill Clinton. Delaney praised Franchot for being a "watchdog on fiscal responsibility."
Minutes before Franchot arrived, Delaney's main competitor, state Sen. Rob Garagiola, unveiled an endorsement of his own, from the United Auto Workers. Garagiola has locked up virtually all of the state's major labor groups. Those endorsements could be key in terms of getting voters to the polls for the April 3 primary.
"Garagiola can count on our 1,400 members to show up and vote for him," the manager of UAW Local 171, David Dopp, said in a statement. Dopp described Delaney as "dangerous to working families."
Garagiola has also been endorsed by a statewide official: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
Both of Maryland's Democratic senators, Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, have indicated they will remain neutral in the race. That leaves Gov. Martin O'Malley and Attorney General Doug Gansler as two remaining statewide elected officials yet to choose a candidate in the competitive contest.
The candidates have been attacking each other for weeks, with Garagiola raising questions about the Chevy Chase bank Delaney co-founded and Delaney drawing attention to Garagiola's work as a federal lobbyist and his failure to disclose that job on state forms.
The 6th District, which was signficantly redrawn by Democrats in Annapolis last year, is currently held by Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, who is seeking an 11th term and faces a primary of his own.