Wine executive David Trone has been testing the waters in two of Maryland’s marquee 2018 races: for Montgomery county executive or, if Rep. John Delaney (D) runs for governor, the Sixth Congressional District.
The Potomac Democrat sounded more like an aspiring House member in a Baltimore Sun op-ed Wednesday, slamming the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts as he recounted his nephew’s drug addiction and death from an opioid overdose late last year.
“We did everything we knew to do — and everything experts told us to do — but it wasn’t enough,” Trone wrote, responding to a recent Sun story on Maryland’s massive spike in opioid fatalities.
Trone said the White House’s proposed elimination of the Obamacare requirement for drug treatment as part of basic health insurance packages will only send more addicts to jail.
“This will not help, and neither will their belief that treatment and enforcement are best left to the states,” he said.
Drug treatment has been a centerpiece of Trone’s prodigious charitable giving. Last month, his family foundation donated $2.5 million to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda for addiction and mental health services.
Since spending a record $13 million of his own money in an unsuccessful 2016 primary campaign for the Eighth Congressional District seat, Trone has maintained a high profile — with a steady stream of commentary and philanthropy — as he mulls his next political step.
A final call on 2018 likely will come after Delaney announces his plans, perhaps later this month.
“He hasn’t made a decision yet,” spokesman Alex Koren said in an email Wednesday.
But, as Trone told Forbes magazine in an interview this week, politics will be as much as part of his future as the wine and spirits business has been of his past.
“Whether it is county, state, or, federal, the goal is to help the government, which is indisputably broken,” he said.