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Nasty Dem primary in Maryland Senate race shakes Capitol


Joan Carter Conway, D-Baltimore City, back left, and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in Baltimore.

Just miles from the U.S. Capitol, two House Democrats are locked in an intense and increasingly personal battle for the future of their party and the legacy of one of the Senate’s most path-breaking members.

The telephone poll was taken between April 18-20 with 300 likely Democratic voters.

The campaign between Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Donna Edwards includes strong components of gender and race. A single mom since her son was about 3, Edwards said she remembers talking to her now-27-year-old son about his potential interactions with police as a young black man.

“To hell with the aspirations of centuries of people in Maryland, a place where Harriet Tubman came from”, said Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, an Edwards backer in the Congressional Black Caucus, bridling at Democratic establishment support for Van Hollen.

Edwards, who also had a full day of events Thursday, would likely benefit from a large turnout in Baltimore because that generally means a higher share of African American voters. But Van Hollen, who has hammered a theme of effectiveness throughout his campaign, has an advantage, 70 percent to 59 percent, on the question of which candidate would look for ways to form deals to get things done. Both candidates have campaigned extensively there. Barbara Mikulski, the nation’s longest-serving female senator who is retiring after her fifth term.

Next Tuesday’s Maryland Democratic Senate primary between Reps.

“In all my interactions with him, he simply wants to see a country that has policies that provide opportunity for everybody, particularly those who need a little help”, said Stephanie Schriock, who has known Sussman since she became president of EMILY’s List in 2010. According to ad buyers tracking the race, he and groups backing him have spent more than twice as much on both mediums in Baltimore over the past week as Edwards and the groups supporting her have spent. (That group stirred controversy this month when it ran a negative ad against Van Hollen that the White House declared misleading). The Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, also denounced the ad. A recent poll showed Van Hollen leading, but all involved expect the outcome to be close between a candidate who could make history and add a missing viewpoint, and one who might do more to heal Washington and make Congress work.

“To me it’s a sign that there’s been a very robust debate and discussion around the mayor’s race, around the council seats – and I think that really bodes well for Baltimore City”, Edwards said at a campaign stop in Randallstown.

When the company is doing well, workers should be doing well, Van Hollen said.

Darrin Jackson

The author Darrin Jackson

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