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Black Women Closing In On U.S. Senate Seats
4/8/2016 12:53:23 PM

Donna Edwards

Kamala Harris
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Afro American Newspaper

( - U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), is now leading in the polls in her quest to become the second Black woman member of the U. S. Senate.

According to a poll released by The Baltimore Sun and the University of Maryland, Edwards is leading her opponent Rep. Chris Van Hollen 34-28 percent.

She is leading Van Hollen among Black Americans, women, and in the Baltimore area.

“We have too many Marylanders falling out of the middle class,” Edwards said. “I know a little bit about that because at one time I was a struggling single mom. As a senator, I will fight for seniors and veterans and will represent a unique voice in the Senate as an African-American woman.”

The Democratic primary is set for April 26 and the winner will face a Republican candidate and others in the November 8 general election.

Maryland is overwhelmingly Democratic and the winner of the Democratic primary is suspected to have a substantial advantage in the general election.

If Edwards is elected, she would be the second Black woman to serve in the senate. The first was Carol Moseley-Braun, who served in the Senate for Chicago from 1993-1999.

But, Edwards may not be the only Black woman in the U. S. Senate.

There may be another second as California Attorney General Kamala Harris, also a Black woman, is the front-runner for the senatorial Democratic nomination in her state this year as well.

Edwards has gained the support of the majority of the Prince George’s County Council, former Montgomery County Council Chairman Valerie Ervin, former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan, state legislators and non-Marylanders such as Moseley-Braun, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and entertainer Barbara Streisand.

John Bullock, a political scientist at Towson University, said Edwards is making headway despite having less money than Van Hollen. “She is doing well,” Bullock said. “In Baltimore City, she will do well and it will be a split in Baltimore County. Van Hollen should do well in Montgomery County and she in Prince George’s and the rest of the state is up for grabs.”

Edwards is gaining support outside of Capitol Hill. On March 19, at a meeting of the Ward 8 Democrats in the District, Philip Pannell, a longtime Ward 8 party activist and member of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, urged his members to get behind Edwards.

“She needs help,” Pannell said. He encouraged Ward 8 Democrats to join his phone banking efforts on behalf of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Edwards, saying, “We want to help this sister.”


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