District 8 congressional candidates on Monday announced new endorsements just a few days before the first candidate forum in what’s expected to be a highly competitive Democratic primary.
Kathleen Matthews, a Chevy Chase resident and former local TV news anchor, announced she’s being endorsed by six Democratic congresswomen: Reps. Cheri Bustos from Illinois, Katherine Clark from Massachusetts, Debbie Dingell from Michigan, Anna Eshoo from California, Lois Frankel from Florida and Ann McLane Kuster from New Hampshire.
She also announced she’s getting campaign funding from Off the Sidelines, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s political action committee that’s focused on getting more women into Congress.
“When I was elected to Congress there were 16 women Representatives, and four were from Maryland. Today there are 84. With the retirement of Senator Mikulski and Congresswoman [Donna] Edwards leaving the House, Maryland could lose this important view, and that’s why we need to elect Kathleen,” former Maryland Rep. Beverly Byron said as part of the Matthews campaign press release.
The announcement came more than a month after state Sen. Jamie Raskin, one of Matthews’ main rivals for the nomination, announced a long list of female supporters called “Women for Jamie.”
On Monday, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee announced it is endorsing Raskin as part of its first three “Elizabeth Warren wing” candidates for the House of Representatives in 2016, referring to progressive Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The other two candidates endorsed were Joseline Pena-Melnyk in the Prince George’s County-based 4th Congressional District and Susannah Randolph in Florida.
“They are proven progressive champs in their home states who are campaigning on big ideas like expanding Social Security, debt-free college, a $15 minimum wage, automatic voter registration at age 18, campaign finance reform, police reform, Wall Street reform, and criminal accountability when corporate executives break the law,” the group’s announcement said.
District 8 candidate and state Del. Kumar Barve announced Monday afternoon that he won the endorsement of the Maryland Medical Political Action Committee, the political arm of the Maryland State Medical Society.
“I am honored to be supported by Maryland physicians for my role in making Maryland a national leader in health care reform—from fighting HMOs, protecting those with pre-existing conditions and supporting several bills that became centerpieces of our successful national health care legislation,” Barve said in a press release.
The endorsements are likely to be two of many from interest groups in the District 8 race, where six announced candidates are running to replace Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who’s running for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Barbara Mikulski.
The dueling announcements also come in a week in which the race could heat up. On Wednesday, the environmental group Sierra Club is hosting the first local District 8 Congressional Forum at the Silver Spring Civic Building. On Thursday, the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS will host another forum in Gaithersburg.
Barve, Matthews and Raskin are scheduled to take part in both, as are candidates Ana Sol Gutierrez, the longtime District 18 state delegate, Will Jawando, the former Obama administration official who narrowly missed out on a District 20 state delegate seat in 2014, and David Anderson, a Potomac resident who works for a Washington, D.C.-based internship and seminar program.