Maryland’s closely watched Senate Race is coming down to the wire. With the primary a little more than two weeks away, 8th District Congressman Chris Van Hollen has been traveling around the state, picking up endorsements from Democratic elected officials. “We’re building a lot of momentum throughout the state,” he says. “I’ve always believed, as Senator Mikulski has, that in order for Maryland to be strong, every part of it needs to be strong.”
In Frederick County, Van Hollen has picked up endorsements from the Democratic members of the County Council, and County Executive Jan Gardner. He also says he’s been endorsed by the Mayors of Hagerstown and Cumberland.
Last year, incumbent Senator Barbara Mikulski (D) announced that she was not seeking another term in office. Shortly afterwards, Congressman Van Hollen announced his intentions to run for the Senate. The other Democrat is 4th District Congresswoman Donna Edwards. The other Democrats in the race are Freddie Dickson, Ralph Jaffe, Theresa Scaldaferri, Charles Smith, Stacy Violet, Blaine Taylor, Ed Tinus and Lih Young. The Republicans in the contest are Chris Chaffee, Sean Connor, Richard Douglas, John Graziani, Greg Holmes, Joseph David Hooe, Chrys Kefalas, Mark McNicholas, Lynn Richardson, Anthony Seda, Richard Shawer, Kathy Szeliga, Dave Wallace and Garry Thomas Yarrington. The unaffiliated candidates are Greg Dorsey, Steve Gladstone, Edward Shlikas and Kay Young. Libertarian Arvin Vohra is also running. Margaret Flowers is representing the Green Party in the contest.
But much of the attention in the race has been focused on Van Hollen and Edwards. Recent polls have given Edwards a lead over Van Hollen. “They seem to bounce around a little bit. You may have seen a recent poll that showed us with a lead,” he says.
Despite that, Van Hollen says there’s one other variable in this race. “Look, this is going to largely depend on turnout,” he says. “It’s really important that people who care–and I hope people do care–to come out and vote in the primary.”
The Maryland Primary is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26th. Early voting begins on Thursday, April 14th, and continues until Thursday, April 21st. There will be three locations for early voting in Frederick County: The Frederick Senior Center on Taney Avenue in Frederick; the Thurmont Regional Library on East Moser Road; and the Urbana Regional Library on Amuleng Street.