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Rep. David Trone emphasizing public service, systemic reform in Maryland senate race

David Trone focuses on systemic reform and public service in Maryland Senate campaign
David Trone focuses on systemic reform and public service in Maryland Senate campaign 02:29

BALTIMORE -- With Maryland's primary election just around the corner, Rep. David Trone told WJZ his campaign is full steam ahead as he looks to secure his place on the November ticket.

Trone, who's been serving in the U.S. House since 2019, is looking to switch chambers. He's going against Angela Alsobrooks in the May primary, who is currently the county executive for Prince George's County.

In a sit-down interview with WJZ's Dennis Valera, Trone said he was inspired to run shortly after U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin announced his retirement last year.

While describing himself, Trone declined to use the word politician, instead opting for public servant.

"I'm a servant of the folks in the state of Maryland, I'm a servant for this country," he said. "[I want to] move the needle on stuff that's been left behind: addiction, mental health, systemic racism in our criminal justice system."

On those issues, Trone has co-sponsored a number of bills that've passed both chambers during his time in Congress, and some have been enacted into law.

When it comes to his record, Trone points to his bipartisan approach. He'll work with anyone to get things done.

"We never ask people, 'Are you Republican or Democrat?' We ask, 'How do we get the job done?'" he said. "We're already working in the Senate and have been for six whole focus is Republicans in the Senate, ten votes. I need 60 to get [bills] through."

While Trone hasn't been shy about touting his record, he also isn't shy about his finances. He's set records for the amount of money he himself has fueled into his campaigns. For this current one, he's put in more than $40 million.

The owner of alcohol retailer Total Wine & More says being able to fund his own campaign keeps him away from corporations and special interests.

"The fact I'm willing to use my money to keep that independence so I'm not owned by Exxon and I'm not owned by Pfizer. I'm only [in Congress] for the people of Maryland, the people of America -- any people really like that," Trone said.

Despite the deep pockets, Trone said he's able to relate to anyone, especially because of his humble beginnings.

"We didn't even have a toilet in our house when I was 11 or 12-years-old. At 28, our farm went bankrupt. My dad was an abusive alcoholic and we lost everything. I built from zero to where I am," he said.

While he still has to win the primary, Trone already has November on his mind, particularly with Hogan in the race.

"That really changed things up because now folks realize if we don't beat Larry Hogan, we lose control of the Senate," Trone said. "Which is something that's kind of scary for a lot of folks."

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