Maryland congressional candidate John Delaney is headed to Israel next week, a trip that may be designed to help with a key constituency back home.
Delaney, founder of the Chevy Chase investment firm CapitalSource, is the Democratic challenger to 10-term Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R). With Bartlett’s district having been redrawn to include many more Democrats, the incumbent faces a difficult path to keep his seat.
The new portion of Bartlett’s district includes a significant slice of Montgomery County, which has a large population of Jewish residents — more than 100,000 reside in the county overall, according to a University of Connecticut study. It is common for American candidates with large Jewish constituencies to make campaign trips to Israel.
“After speaking with community leaders, faith leaders and voters across the District during my campaign, I came to understand that visiting Israel was necessary to obtain a full and proper perspective on our relationship with our strongest ally in the Middle East,” Delaney said in a campaign release. “I felt that it was vital to gain a first-hand understanding of the issues.”
Delaney’s campaign said he arranged the trip with the assistance of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington. Several officials with the organization will accompany Delaney on the trip.
Delaney released a position paper on Israel issues during his contentious Democratic primary fight against state Sen. Rob Garagiola (Montgomery).