Kathleen Matthews, a Democrat running for Congress in Maryland's 8th District, announced her support for the man she is trying to succeed, endorsing the Senate bid of Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen.
In a statement posted on her website Monday, Matthews lauded the seven-term member as a "progressive" but a "pragmatist" — the same way she is trying to present herself in a race where, until recently , she had faced fiercest opposition from liberal state Sen. Jamie Raskin. "It’s time that I make my support of his campaign official," Matthews said. "His ability to work with people of both parties is critical during this era of divided government."
Her public nod came nearly a year after she contributed $2,700 to Van Hollen's campaign committee only a few weeks after he entered the race last March.
Van Hollen is running against fellow Rep. Donna Edwards, a Democrat from the 4th District, for the Senate seat being vacated by Barbara A. Mikulski. Both the Senate and House race for his seat are rated Safe Democrat by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call.
The move pit Matthews against one of her top endorsers, the pro-Democratic women group EMILY's List, which is backing Edwards in the April 26 primary. But a Democratic strategist aligned with Edwards said Monday Van Hollen's district is not the turf on which the Senate race will be decided, pointing instead to contested areas such as Baltimore and Baltimore County.
Contact Yokley at EliYokley@RollCall.com and on Twitter @EYokle y. Related: Matthews, Raskin Take Different Paths in Maryland’s 8th District Primary