Two liberal outside groups, Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee are rolling out an effort to get Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) to run for outgoing Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s (D-MD) Senate seat.
The two groups announced Thursday they are launching a Draft Edwards effort to get the Maryland congresswoman to run for Senate. (Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) has already announced that he’s running for Senate and has a war chest of over $1.6 million —sizable for this early in the race.)
“Now the question is, who should replace her? Strong progressive voices in the Senate have the ability to change the way we talk about policy and politics in important ways — just ask Sen. Elizabeth Warren,” Democracy for America executive director Charles Chamberlain said in an email announcing the effort. “Fortunately, according to 74% of Democracy for America’s members in Maryland who we surveyed on Tuesday, the answer is obvious: Rep. Donna Edwards.”
Edwards herself said she’s interested in running.
“I’ve made quite clear that I’m interested in running,” Edwards told Roll Call. “I see a pathway to succeeding Barbara Mikulski.”
If Edwards does decide to run against Van Hollen in the primary, the contrast between the two candidates wouldn’t really display a big ideological divide. Van Hollen, who’s closely aligned himself with Democratic House leadership, is not a conservative Democrat.
For instance, the PCCC email announcing the Draft Edwards effort notes that “Donna agrees with Elizabeth Warren that we should expand Social Security benefits —never cut them.”
Van Hollen, at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast back in January, also threw a few punches at House Republicans for trying to block a routine transfer of funds from the Social Security disability fund to the Social Security retirement program.
“I think it’s counterproductive to launch that debate by effectively threatening to not address the disability in the short term as we have in the past,” Van Hollen said.