After filing to officially enter the 2018 race for Democratic nominee to the U.S. House for the 6th District of Maryland on Wednesday, Andrew Duck hit the campaign trail.
Duck, a Democrat who has unsuccessfully run for the 6th District seat in Congress three times before, hopes to seize the moment, building a grassroots campaign in light of speculation that current Rep. John Delaney (D) will cede the seat to seek the governor’s office.
“I am operating under the assumption that he is going to run for governor. I know he’s taking a little bit more time to make up his mind, and I respect that,” said Duck, 54. “But I can’t wait that long.”
Duck stumped at the Shady Grove Metro station in Montgomery County during the day on Wednesday and held a kickoff announcement on Carroll Creek that evening.
He’s got planned stops in the remaining three district counties — Washington, Garrett and Allegany — on Friday and Saturday.
Duck is the first to officially file his name with the Maryland State Board of Elections to be listed on the 2018 ballot, but plenty of Democrats are eyeing the seat.
Montgomery County Democrats Aruna Miller and Bill Frick — both members of the House of Delegates — have filed with the Federal Election Commission to raise money to campaign for the seat. The campaign filing deadline to be listed on the ballot is far into the future: Feb. 27, 2018.
Delaney has said he will make a final decision about his 2018 campaign season later this month.
Duck said he has been touring the state over the last several months to gauge support for his run. He said his family’s roots in the heart of the district — he graduated from Middletown High School — will help him connect with voters in all parts of the 6th, which stretches from the western panhandle to D.C. suburbs in Montgomery County and includes the city of Frederick.
Duck has been involved in the Our Revolution organization for Western Maryland. The group was started as a grassroots advocacy group to continue advancing the campaign ideals of former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Duck said his focus areas are health care, education, national security and improving the economic fortunes of the middle class.
He weaved a story about his life experiences that reinforce his platform positions: Starting with joining the Army to get quality health insurance — with coverage for pre-existing conditions — that helped him care for his daughter after she was born prematurely.
He supports a single-payer health care system, specifically a “Medicare for all” bill that is pending in Congress now.
After 20 years in the Army, with three deployments to Bosnia and time on the ground in Iraq, Duck said he has the experience needed to address the big issues in Washington.
“I think we need someone in Washington today who’s got experience with counterintelligence and knows how to deal with the Russians,” he said.
Duck continues to work as a Pentagon consultant and as director of operations for a North Carolina-based renewable energy company founded by his brother.
While advocating for those ideals he holds most important, Duck said he would also seek common ground if elected.
“I think as a veteran, I’m uniquely positioned to do that. We’ve got veterans on both sides of the aisle,” he said. “And veterans are always focused on getting the mission accomplished.”
The 2018 primary election is on June 26, 2018, and the general election is on Nov. 6, 2018.