|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Maryland's 6th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||John Delaney|
David John Trone
September 21, 1955
Cheverly, Maryland, U.S.
|Education||Furman University (BA)|
University of Pennsylvania (MBA)
David John Trone (born September 21, 1955) is an American politician and businessman serving as the U.S. representative for Maryland's 6th congressional district. The district includes most of the western third of the state, but the bulk of its population is in the outer northern suburbs of Washington, D.C. Trone founded and co-owns Total Wine & More with his brother, and served as the company's president until December 2016.
In 2016, Trone spent more than $13 million of his own money on his unsuccessful Democratic primary campaign to succeed Chris Van Hollen in Maryland's 8th congressional district, setting a record for the most expensive self-funded House campaign. In 2018, Trone was the Democratic nominee for the 6th district and won the general election to succeed John Delaney.
Trone is currently a candidate for the United States Senate in the 2024 election to succeed Ben Cardin.
Trone was born in Maryland and raised on a 200-acre (81 ha) farm in East Berlin, Pennsylvania, where his father Thomas ran a chicken and hog operation. Thomas also owned a soda and beer store. When Trone's parents separated, his father kept the farm and his mother took over the store. Thomas and his farm went into bankruptcy, but Trone kept working at his mother's store.
Trone graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Furman University in 1977, and earned a Master of Business Administration in 1985 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Main article: Total Wine & More
Having seen the potential of the beer sales at his mother's store, Trone began his career by founding the beer-only retailer Beer World in Pennsylvania in 1984, during his second semester of graduate school. Months before graduating from Wharton, in 1985, Trone expanded into the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Over time, he opened additional stores, called Beer and Pop Warehouse and, later, Beer World, which were owned by friends and family members because Pennsylvania state law prohibited individuals from owning more than one beer retail outlet.
Trone, with his brother Robert's help, opened two stores in Delaware in 1991, adding wine and spirits to the company's offerings. Using knowledge acquired at Wharton, the brothers chose to replicate the family store's model across Pennsylvania. The beverage company had slim margins, but was immediately profitable and allowed the brothers to focus on operations. They familiarized themselves with regulators and industry leaders, and began changing laws that restrict wholesalers from offering retailers discounts in exchange for large volume purchases, among others, in their attempt to promote beverage consumption.
The business has since expanded into what is known today as Total Wine & More, the largest privately owned beer, wine, and spirits retailer in the U.S. In December 2016, Trone gave up his title of president to chief executive Kevin Peters.
Beginning in 1989 and over the next three years, Pennsylvania authorities arrested Trone three times following complaints from an association of smaller, individually owned stores. One arrest was for negotiating volume discounts on behalf of multiple stores and illegally advertising beer prices, and one was for circumventing state transportation regulations. The charges were later dismissed.
In 1992, a grand jury in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, indicted Trone, his wife, June, and his brother for owning multiple stores through Trone's consulting company, among other charges, all of which were later dropped and expunged. In 1994, a state judge dismissed 19 of the 23 counts based on "prosecutorial overreaching", and the remaining counts were withdrawn after Trone paid a $40,000 fee to cover investigation costs.
During these legal proceedings, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) broke the law by providing records of his consulting firm to government officials, prompting Trone to sue the agency in federal court. He won and was awarded $400,000. The lawyer who had represented Trone also served as a national board member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which began a long-term relationship between Trone and the ACLU. The Trones' difficulties in Pennsylvania prompted them to leave the state; Total Wine & More grew from the remaining two stores in Delaware and an additional retail outlet in New Jersey, which Trone had opened in the early 1990s.
In 2016, the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission served Total Wine with a license suspension for selling liquor below its costs. The company appealed the commission's decision, and in 2017 the Suffolk Superior Court sided with Total Wine.
Trone has been active in Democratic politics and hosted fundraisers for the party. In 2014, he hosted a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown that former president Bill Clinton attended, and in November 2015, he held a fundraiser at his home for the Democratic National Committee, which President Obama attended. Trone also contributed to Republican politicians; according to OpenSecrets, he donated more than $150,000 to Republicans in multiple U.S. states between 2000 and 2015. The Washington Post reported that Trone contributed more than $90,000 to Democratic state officials during the same period, and said the donations made to Republicans were to support "legislation or regulatory changes favorable to his company". Trone said the donations "represented the cost of doing business, especially in states with Republican-controlled state houses and governor's mansions".
In January 2016, Trone entered the Democratic primary campaign to succeed Chris Van Hollen in Maryland's 8th congressional district; this was the real contest in the heavily Democratic district. He ran on reducing unemployment and gun violence, criminal justice reform, environmental protection, and education and foreign policy. Trone pledged to support early education, work with the National Institutes of Health to reduce health care costs, improve infrastructure, and forgive more student loans for government employees.
Trone spent more than $13 million on his unsuccessful campaign, which became the most expensive self-funded House campaign ever. The first-time candidate said a large personal investment was necessary in order to stand out in a crowded race that included well-known rivals, including news anchor and Marriott International executive Kathleen Matthews and the winner, State Senator Jamie Raskin. After the election, Trone told NPR, "We knew it would be very expensive. We're not surprised by what it cost at all. We anticipated that, and it was a thoughtful choice my wife and I made... It was the right decision to take no money from anybody."
On August 2, 2017, Trone announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Maryland's 6th district, an open seat being vacated by John Delaney, who chose not to seek reelection and retire from Congress to focus on his 2020 presidential campaign. Trone had endorsed Delaney for president several days earlier. He told Washington Jewish Week in early 2018 that lessons learned from his previous run included entering the race earlier and raising money.
Trone toured Maryland in late 2017, and filed his candidacy in January 2018. His filing was accompanied by a press release expressing his support for education, environmental protections, health care, Social Security, and women's rights. Trone also made combating the opioid epidemic a central focus of his platform, releasing an action plan and hosting a series of town hall meetings to address the crisis. In March 2018, Trone, gubernatorial candidate Rushern Baker, and John Delaney organized free bus trips from Maryland to Washington, D.C., in support of the March for Our Lives demonstration.
Trone was endorsed by Baker, Joanne C. Benson, Anthony Brown, and Doug Duncan.
On June 26, 2018, Trone won the Democratic primary election for Maryland's 6th district against seven challengers with 40% of the vote.
In the general election, Trone faced Republican Amie Hoeber and candidates from other parties. He was endorsed by the Washington Post. On November 6, 2018, Trone was elected with 57.5% of the vote.
On January 23, 2020, Trone announced his intention to run for reelection to Congress.
In the general election, Trone defeated Republican nominee Neil Parrott and candidates from other parties with 58.8% of the vote.
Trone again defeated Republican Neil Parrott with 54.8% of the vote.
Trone was rated the 15th most bipartisan member of Congress by the Common Ground Committee and The Lugar Center rated Trone as the 23rd most bipartisan member of the U.S. House. As of October 2022, he had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time. In January 2023, Trone had surgery and was absent for the 12th round of voting for speaker of the House; he returned while still wearing hospital clothes and voted in the 13th round.
Main article: 2024 United States Senate election in Maryland
On May 4, 2023, Trone announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in the 2024 election to succeed Ben Cardin. Before announcing his candidacy, he reportedly told those close to him that he would spend up to $50 million of his own money on the race. As of the end of the second quarter 2023, Trone has loaned his campaign $9.7 million and has spent $4.8 million on the race, outspending his closest competitor Angela Alsobrooks by 3-to-1.
In June 2020, Trone co-sponsored the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a police reform bill aimed at preventing brutality and racial discrimination in policing. Later that month, he introduced the Workforce Justice Act, which would remove the requirement to inform employers of a job applicant's criminal history.
In 2023, Trone founded the Second Chance Task Force in an effort to promote policies that improve reentry outcomes and reduce employment barriers for returning citizens, a disproportionate number of whom are people of color. The Task Force includes an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.
In January 2020, Trone voted for a resolution to overturn revisions made by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to the Borrower Defense Program. In May 2020, he signed a letter to DeVos criticizing her decision not to extend emergency federal aid grants provided by the CARES Act to undocumented students.
During his campaigns, Trone refused to accept campaign contributions from corporations, lobbyists, or special interests. He supports bipartisan redistricting reform, including the creation of an independent redistricting commission, and has blamed Republican strategist Karl Rove for "inventing gerrymandering".
In March 2016, Trone called on the Maryland State Board of Elections to make their electronic voting machines more accessible for disabled voters, saying that the machines were not programmed to show all candidates on a single screen.
In November 2018, the day following his election win, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Benisek v. Lamone struck down Maryland's redistricting plan as unconstitutionally gerrymandered. Trone later defended Maryland's congressional map during an appeal of the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, submitting an amicus brief to the court in February 2019. In March 2019, Trone criticized Governor Larry Hogan's proposed redraw of Maryland's congressional maps—which saw Maryland's sixth congressional district redrawn to include Frederick and Carroll counties, thereby making it more favorable to Republicans—calling his proposal "not germane".
In March 2022, after Maryland's congressional maps were redrawn following a court ruling that struck down the state's previous maps, Trone praised the court ruling as "moving the state away from partisan gerrymandering" and again called for national redistricting reform.
In an interview with Meet the Press in May 2023, Trone said he would support eliminating the filibuster in the United States Senate, but stressed the need to work with Republicans.
In March 2016, Trone said he supported the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and blamed Republican lobbyists for preventing it from passing. In 2020, he voted for the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, a successor to NAFTA.
Trone is the co-chair of the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, a government commission created to develop solutions to the opioid epidemic. In February 2022, Trone blamed China for causing 64,000 fentanyl deaths in the United States in 2021 "because they are pretty much the lone supplier of [fentanyl] precursor chemicals and pre-precursor chemicals, which they are shipping to Mexico". He called on the country to increase enforcement of its anti-money laundering laws and to prevent manufacturers from exporting precursor chemicals to Mexico through cooperation with U.S. agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. He also encouraged the United States to increase its education, treatment, and prevention programs, calling it "the only chance we've got".
In January 2023, Trone sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on him to refuse negotiations with China on other topics until the country promised to do more to curb the fentanyl crisis.
In April 2016, Trone said he would have voted against the Iran nuclear deal framework. In October 2020, he said he opposed the decision to leave the nuclear deal after signing it.
In October 2022, Trone spoke in support of the Mahsa Amini protests in Iran.
In April 2023, Trone called on the European Union to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.
Trone supports a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. He disagrees with President Donald Trump's decision to relocate the United States Embassy in Israel in Jerusalem. Trone is a "minyan" donor to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which requires a minimum annual gift of $100,000 and is the highest membership level in the group.
In March 2018, Trone said he would vote for the Taylor Force Act, which would stop American economic aid to the Palestinian Authority unless it stops payments to individuals who commit acts of terrorism and to the families of deceased terrorists. He also said he supported the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would make it a federal crime for Americans to encourage or participate in boycotts against Israel and Israeli settlements in the West Bank if protesting actions by the Israeli government.
In December 2018, before being sworn into office, he traveled with a bipartisan group of freshmen House members to Israel, during which he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition leader Tzipi Livni, and Palestine Liberation Organization lead negotiator Saeb Erekat.
In 2019, Trone voted for a resolution condemning the BDS movement. In 2023, he co-sponsored an amendment to the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act that would require the U.S. Department of Defense to report on whether any of its contractors support BDS.
In October 2020, Trone said he did not support conditioning U.S. foreign aid on Israeli actions, including annexing the West Bank.
In January 2022, Trone co-founded the Abraham Accords Caucus, a caucus aimed at supporting normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states.
In December 2022, Trone co-signed a letter to United Nations ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield calling for the United Nations commission of inquiry into alleged Israeli human rights violations to be shut down. In February 2023, he called for the removal of U.N. Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese following remarks she made about recent Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel.
In 2021, Trone introduced a resolution holding Saudi Arabia accountable for the death of Jamal Khashoggi and other human rights violations.
In March 2023, Trone co-signed a letter to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman demanding the release of political prisoners jailed for tweeting.
In October 2019, Trone voted to condemn President Donald Trump's withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria, calling the decision "morally bankrupt". In 2023, Trone voted against H.Con.Res. 21, which directed President Joe Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria within 180 days.
During his 2018 campaign, Trone said he supported "common-sense gun reform" that included universal background checks and banning assault weapons.
After 19 children and two adults were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, by a shooter using an AR-15, Trone voted for H.R. 1808: Assault Weapons Ban of 2022.
Trone supports the Affordable Care Act, calling it a "good start" but said it needed revising.
On President Biden's first day in office, Trone introduced the Preventing Mental Health and Substance Use Crises During Emergencies Act, which Trone said was needed because "we will never have a vaccine to cure the mental health [...] epidemic that [has] been exacerbated by this pandemic". After a police officer from his district died by suicide, Trone introduced the Confidentiality Opportunities for Peer Support (COPS) Counseling Act, which provided confidential counseling for law enforcement officers. President Joe Biden signed the COPS Act into law in November 2021.
In January 2018, Trone released a $100 billion, 10-year plan aimed at confronting the opioid epidemic. The plan called for allowing the government to negotiate lower prices for overdose medication, increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health, and expanding prevention programs in schools.
Trone co-chairs the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force with Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican congressman from Pennsylvania. According to The Washington Post, Trone "is at the center of bipartisan efforts in Congress to make a major investment in putting a dent in the opioid epidemic." Driven by the loss of his nephew, he has made fighting the opioid epidemic one of his top priorities and drew praise from Fitzpatrick, who said that Trone "is the hardest-working person on the floor on this issue." Most bills Trone has passed on the issue have been bipartisan.
Trone opposes the Trump wall and supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. In January 2019, he called for the end to the 2018–2019 federal government shutdown after Republicans proposed what he called "viable solutions to the end shutdown". which included $900 million toward border security enhancements as opposed to funding for the border wall. In June 2019, Trone voted for a bill to provide $4.6 billion in humanitarian aid to the Mexico–United States border.
In July 2019, Trone voted for the Raise the Wage Act, a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
In July 2019, Trone condemned President Donald Trump's comments toward members of The Squad to "go back" to the "places from which they came", tweeting that the remarks were "racist and just plain wrong". He later voted for a resolution condemning the comments. He supported both the first and second impeachment of Trump.
Trone was at the United States Capitol to participate in the 2021 United States Electoral College vote count when it was attacked by Trump supporters. During the attack, he tweeted a photo of himself wearing an emergency suit as he evacuated the House gallery. Following the attack, Trone called for use of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. He also faulted Republican leadership for the attack and called for a security review. He later supported a bill to establish a special commission to investigate the attack.
In March 2021, Trone co-sponsored a resolution to expel U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress.
In July 2022, Trone criticized the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, calling the demise of Roe v. Wade "devastating" and saying that the decision would "impact the lives of millions of women across this country". Later that month, he voted for measures to codify Roe v. Wade and to protect patients traveling to receive abortion services.
In October 2018, Trone said he supported repealing the carried interest loophole.
|Democratic||Ana Sol Gutierrez||7,185||5.5|
|Democratic||David M. Anderson||1,511||1.2|
|Democratic||Andrew J. Duck||2,758||4.9|
|Democratic||David Trone (incumbent)||215,540||58.8|
|Democratic||David Trone (incumbent)||140,295||54.7|
In addition to political contributions, Trone and his wife have supported a number of philanthropic efforts. They have been major contributors to the ACLU since 1994. Their $15 million donation in 2015 supported the ACLU's efforts to promote criminal justice reform and improve employment opportunities for former prisoners, and established the Trone Center for Justice and Equality at the ACLU's national headquarters. In 2016, the couple pledged $5 million to establish the Trone Family Public Policy Initiative Fund at their alma mater, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
In mid-2017, the Trones donated $2.5 million to Bethesda, Maryland's Suburban Hospital to support mental and behavioral health services and make improvements to the Old Georgetown Road campus. Their donation was inspired by their nephew's death from an opioid overdose in late 2016. The David and June Trone Family Foundation contributed $100,000 to the Catholic Legal Immigration Network in 2017 to support locals affected by Trump's travel ban, which the couple called "outrageously egregious". The Trones also donated to the ACLU's Montgomery County affiliate, the Latino immigrant organization CASA, and Interfaith Works.
Trone's contributions to Furman University include a $5 million grant for a student center and to create men's and women's lacrosse teams, and the lead $500,000 gift for the Riley Foundation's endowment to support disadvantaged South Carolina students. The Trone Student Center was dedicated in 2013 and named for Trone and his wife, in honor of their $3.5 million contribution.
In 2021, Trone and his wife donated $5 million to American University to help support research on addiction and behavioral health.
In 2022, Trone and his wife donated $10 million to his alma mater, Furman University, targeting mental health. Officials at Furman University said $8.5 million of the donation would be dedicated to renovating Furman's counseling center, creating the Trone Family Fund for Student Mental Health and Well-Being, and expanding the school's mental health services. Trone also donated $1.5 million to create the Hillel Endowment Fund to support Furman's Hillel, the Jewish Student Association.
Trone chairs the Trone Private Sector and Education Advisory Council at the ACLU Trone Center. He has served on the Bullis School's board of trustees since 2006.
In 2012, Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN) Greater DC gave Trone the Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the organization, which provides recreational programs for children with developmental and physical disabilities. He was honored at the 2014 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Greater Washington, in the "large company" category. In 2015, Trone was invited by the American University's Kennedy Political Union and the Kogod School of Business to speak to students and faculty about entrepreneurship and business leadership. He was awarded the Anti-Defamation League's annual achievement award in 2016. In 2016, Trone joined the boards of American University and the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.
In 2017, Trone received Furman University's Carl F. Kohrt Distinguished Alumni Award, which is presented "to an alumnus in recognition of significant professional or personal accomplishments and in gratitude for continued loyalty". He served on Furman University's board of trustees from 2010 to 2016.
During his 2018 campaign, Trone was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy and surgery to remove a kidney; he was declared cancer-free by October.
As of 2016[update], the Trones live in Potomac, a suburb of Washington. His home is just outside the 6th's borders. Members of the House are required to live in the state they represent, not the particular district.
Trone was raised Lutheran. His wife and all four children are Jewish and attend Temple Beth Ami in Rockville.