Delaney, the keynote speaker for the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, said the county was friendly territory for him.
It was where he had his best showing in the 6th District race, receiving 58 percent of the county’s Democratic votes, winning every precinct except one.
Delaney defeated four opponents in the primary, including state Sen. Robert J. Garagiola. In the fall, Delaney will face Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a 10-term incumbent.
Voters should hold politicians to two standards, Delaney told a crowd of about 75 people at Clopper-Michael American Legion Post 10 in Boonsboro.
Politicians should be honest in character and debate, and should have the right motivation, he said.
“You have to completely immerse yourself in public service,” Delaney said.
He said Democratic positions “are on the right side of history,” something the party faithful needs to spread through personal stories in their own words instead of party rhetoric.
In that vein, Delaney shared some of his story, as the first person in his family to go to college, thanks to the support of his father’s labor union.
Two comments the crowd applauded during Delaney’s speech were a call for veterans to get recognition and services they deserve, and a plug for women’s rights.
“I’m tired of the attack on women that’s going on in this country,” he said.
Elizabeth Paul, the chairwoman of the Washington County Democratic Central Committee, which held the dinner, said the party is one of diversity, civil rights and individual freedoms.
Democrats understand that government’s role is to help citizens do what they cannot do individually, she said.
Delaney concurred during his keynote speech, arguing that while the private sector creates jobs, “there’s a strong role for government” through investments in infrastructure and education.
During the dinner, Todd L. Hershey, Washington County’s treasurer for about 25 years, was recognized as Democrat of the Year.
“We are the party of the 99 percent, and whenever you’re fighting that battle, you’re on the winning side of the argument,” Hershey said.