John Delaney, the executive chairman of CapitalSource Inc. in Bethesda, Md., is taking a leave of absence from the commercial finance company he founded to run for a seat in Congress.

Delaney, 48, is running as a Democrat in Maryland's 6th District, which was recently redrawn to include much of the heavily Democratic Montgomery County. He is targeting the House seat currently held by Roscoe Bartlett, a 10-term Republican from western Maryland who is now widely seen as vulnerable as a result of the redistricting.

Delaney formed an exploratory committee late last year and said in a November news release that job creation would be his primary focus. An entrepreneur, Delaney founded a health-care financing company in the early 1990s that he later sold to Heller Financial and recently founded Alliance Partners, a management firm that helps community banks team up to make large business loans.

 

"I'm not a professional politician," Delaney said in November. "I'm convinced that if we stay focused on creating jobs, embrace ideas that put the middle class first, and involve the public and private sector to get things done, we can make a positive difference in people's lives."

Founded in 2000, CapitalSource became an industrial loan company in 2008 after it acquired an ailing California thrift. That deal gave CapitalSource a steady stream of deposits that it has used to help grow its commercial lending business.Through the nine months ending in September, its CapitalSource Bank, based in Los Angeles, generated $688 million in new loans, an 18 percent increase from the same period a year earlier.

The company has been rumored as a potential seller since it hired an investment bank a year ago to help it explore its strategic options and Delaney's departure from its day-to-day operations is unlikely to quell that speculation. However, in a research note Thursday, a Citigroup analyst said that Delaney's announcement should not be viewed as a sign that a deal is imminent.

Delaney will remain chairman of CapitalSource's board of directors.

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