A strong storm wasn't enough to dampen the mood at Gaithersburg's as supporters of John Delaney, the Democratic nominee for Maryland's 6th Congressional District, joined the Potomac native for a good old fashioned Sunday afternoon barbecue.
His fourth such event in the district, Delaney said the grassroots campaigning is giving him the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the people he hopes to represent and allows them to get a better perspective of his principles.
"It's just another way of getting our message out there and getting it at a micro level into the communities," Delaney told Patch. "I tend to think that the concerns of the different communities in the new district are very consistent. They’re concerned about jobs, theyre concerned about why governent’s not functioning and we get an opportunity to address that in a more intimate atmosphere."
The barbecues have also provided Delaney with the chance to learn from his voters, many of whom in Montgomery County hold positions with the federal government, he said.
Government involvement in job creation is a main platform for Delaney's campaign, one in which he believes he and the 6th District incumbant, U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, don't see eye to eye on, Delaney said.
"The congressman and I disagree over what role government can play in creating jobs," Delaney said. "I think government can play a role. Not in picking winners and losers but actually doing things that only government can do to create a level playing field for the private sector to compete. I think the congressman doesn’t really believe the government can do those things."
Among the crowd Sunday afternoon was Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney A. Katz, who offered his own endorsement of Delaney, saying he believed the Democrat would continue to provide the residents, formerly of the 8th District, with terrific constituent service.
"I know that John will continue that tradition because that’s very important," Katz said. "I believe he’ll be somebody that will listen to the public and will certainly try to work with both sides of the isle."
The three previous Delaney campaign barbecue events in Frederick, Hagerstown and Cumberland have all been visited by more than 200 people, Delaney's campaign manager, Justin Schall said. Nothing has been made official, but Schall said the campaign could possibly return to Montgomery County for one additional barbecue before voters head to the polls in November.
More than 330 people attended the event, according to a press release from the Delaney campaign Monday morning.