WOOD-RIDGE — A New Jersey native is among the first major party candidates for the 2020 presidential election.

Just over seven months since President Donald Trump was sworn into office, Maryland congressman and Wood-Ridge, New Jersey native John Delaney announced his candidacy on Friday in his hometown and in an op-ed piece in the Washington Post.

Standing in front of his late father's pickup truck, Delaney said in announcement broadcast via Facebook Live Friday he lived on North Avenue growing up.

"I spent my summers working with my dad on construction sites," Delaney said. "He taught me some very valuable lessons – he taught me to work hard, to never back down, to stand up for your friends, and most importantly to take care, protect, and love your family. He called it 'being a man.' For me, the goal was to be a responsible adult. And it’s worked."

He said his father was an electrician who didn't go to college, and his grandparents worked in Jersey City when they first came to the U.S. from England and Ireland.

"It is time for us to rise above our broken politics and renew the spirit that enabled us to achieve the seemingly impossible," the Democrat wrote. He blamed the Trump administration for "making us less prosperous and less secure." In his campaign announcement, Delaney said Trump has "an unhealthy disregard for the truth and the administration of justice. He has shown himself to be an unsteady, self-absorbed leader."

Delaney graduated Columbia University and Georgetown University Law Center and later founded two companies: Health Care Financial Partners and CapitalSource, according to his campaign website.

Delaney first ran for Congress in 2012 and won re-election in 2014 and 2016.

"I will not be running for re-election to the House of Representatives. No games, no cat-and-mouse, no backup plan at the 11th hour if a focus group goes badly," Delaney wrote in the op-ed.

The 60-year-old said he considers himself to have an approach that "goes beyond party and partisanship. First and foremost an American," Delaney wrote.

Although they are on different sides of the political aisle, Delaney has at least one thing in common with last major party presidential candidate from New Jersey. He and Gov. Chris Christie are both big Bruce Springsteen fans — and they both consider Thunder Road their favorite Springsteen song.

Delaney and his wife April have four children, all daughters.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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