Category Archives: Senate

The Musical Chairs Begin

Maryland Senate

Rep. Donna Edwards’ (D-MD-4) announcement that she will run for the Senate launches the Maryland political chess game. As we already know, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8) is officially in the race and moving quickly toward establishing himself. Van Hollen jump-started the political time line with his formal declaration at the end of last week, and now Edwards is quickly following suit.

Seeing two DC area Maryland politicians – Edwards in Prince Georges County and Van Hollen hailing from Montgomery County – in the open Senate race, we can soon expect a move from the Baltimore contingent. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake personally re-confirmed that she is “seriously considering” running for the Senate. Edwards’ presence also forces Baltimore Rep. Elijah Cummings’ (D-MD-7) hand, now that it is clear he will not be the only African American House member to potentially join the statewide effort. Part of Edwards’ goal in so definitively announcing is an attempt to encapsulate Cummings, making it clear that his path to the Senate will not be an easy one.
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Reid Endorses Van Hollen; Strickland Ties Portman

Maryland Senate

In a surprising development, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already given his personal endorsement to Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8), the recently announced Maryland senatorial candidate. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) announced last week that she will retire at the end of the current Congress, launching what promises to be a very crowded Democratic primary to replace her.

Van Hollen has been on the inside of the House Democratic leadership almost since his original election in 2002, and he is known as a highly ambitious politician. Therefore, through his positioning within the House conference, the Montgomery County congressman was able to develop a relationship with Sen. Reid. But, it is still unusual that a Senate leader would involve himself so quickly in a contested primary when so many Democratic delegation members appear inclined to run. Speculation continues that Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD-4), for example, is just days away from announcing her own candidacy.

In other Maryland news, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (D) announced that he will not enter the Senate race. Kamenetz had been prominently mentioned as a possible candidate in the early speculation immediately after Sen. Mikulski’s announcement.
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In, Out, or Maybe in Maryland?

MARCH 5, 2-15 — A flurry of Maryland political activity has been unleashed after Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) delivered her semi-surprising retirement announcement earlier this week.

Below is a re-cap of who may enter the Maryland Senate race, according to several public sources and statements from the individuals themselves. Additionally, lists covering California open seat candidates and the two May congressional special elections are also updated.

MARYLAND SENATE

Democrats Considering
• Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2)
• Rep. John Sarbanes (MD-3)
• Rep. Donna Edwards (MD-4)
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A Rundown of Who Could Fill the Void With Mikulski’s Retirement

MARCH 4, 2015 — Monday’s announcement from America’s longest-serving female member of Congress, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), will certainly change the Maryland political landscape.

Mikulski’s plans not to seek a sixth senatorial term, after serving 10 years in the House prior to her first statewide victory, will bring an end to what will be her 40-year congressional career when the 114th Congress adjourns. Her decision creates the second open Senate seat in the 2016 election cycle, coming after California Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) made a similar announcement in January.

Since then, we have seen a great deal of movement among Golden State Democrats with much more to come. Expect a similar pattern to develop in Maryland. Democrats hold seven of the state’s eight congressional seats and, with the exception of House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD-5), each may be assessing their chances of succeeding Mikulski. With many current and former statewide Democratic officials also looking at the race, we can expect a crowded party primary field.
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Strickland Announces in Ohio; Chances? Walker Cruising

FEB. 27, 2015 –Seventy-three year old former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s (D) announcement that he will challenge first-term Sen. Rob Portman (R) was expected yet still surprising.

Clearly the defeated former governor is attempting to take advantage of what he believes will be a 2016 Democratic presidential victory not only nationally, but in Ohio as well. Such a finish could reasonably sweep in a Democratic Senate candidate on presidential coattails, of this we know.

While the former governor has six terms in Congress to his credit and another four years as the state’s chief executive, he is no stranger to losing. In fact, he lost four House races in addition to his re-election as governor. Strickland won for the first time on his fourth try for Congress, some 16 years after he originally ran.
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