State Sen. Roger Manno, an attorney and former aide to several offices on Capitol Hill, announced Wednesday he will run for the Democratic nomination in Maryland's 6th Congressional District.
The 51-year-old cancer survivor, who had previously said he would enter the race if incumbent Rep. John Delaney decided against reelection, touted his record in Annapolis in an email to supporters and suggested he would make health care a priority.
"This fight for equality of opportunity is among America’s greatest challenges today," Manno wrote in the email. "It begins with a good job, benefits, and a level playing field. And if you get sick, lose your job, or just need some help along the way, you deserve a system that’s fair and built for everyone."
Manno, the Senate majority whip, joins two other state lawmakers who have started raising money for the contest, Maryland House Majority Leader C. William "Bill" Frick and Del. Aruna Miller. Manno's announcement came hours after businessman David Trone jumped into the race. Trone spent more than $13 million of his own money on his campaign for the 8th Congressional District last year.
Delaney announced Friday he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, a surprise decision that will likely create a heated primary for his seat and may give Republicans their best opportunity to pick up a congressional seat in Maryland in years. In the last midterm election, Delaney won reelection by less than 2 percentage points.
The politics in the general election next year is harder to read for now because of President Donald Trump, who is widely unpopular in Maryland, and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who enjoys deep support among independents and some Democrats.
Manno lives in the 8th Congressional District, north of Aspen Hill, though his legislative district overlaps with the eastern edge of the 6th Congressional District.
Manno served in the House of Delegates before his election to the state Senate in 2010. He worked as a legislative director to Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., of Georgia, and also worked as a staff member for a House Homeland Security task force.
"I know how to make government work, and I’m proud of our results," Manno wrote in his email. "I took on insurance companies who denied care, and won – took on Walmart who denied rest breaks, and won – and took on the big polluters and union-busting bosses, and won."