The New Year will bring election season to Maryland in full force, as less than five months remain before the Democratic primary. Along with the Baltimore mayor’s contest, the race to replace retiring U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski figures to be one of the hardest-fought battles. This week’s evidence comes in the form of a pair of big-time political influencers lining up behind different candidates.
By law, PACs cannot directly interact with campaigns. But they can bring big money that influences elections.
The politically active SEIU labor union decided to throw its organizing muscle behind Congressman Chris Van Hollen. On Wednesday, seven of the union’s locals announced their backing for the Kensington Democrat. The SEIU is known to turn on the money faucet for candidates when the time requires, and can draw on a big network of volunteers. As the Washington Post notes, this was an important behind-the-scenes win for Van Hollen. The SEIU had previously backed U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards, who is also running for the seat.
Another big organization will put its money and reach to work for Edwards. Emily’s List announced a $1 million ad campaign for the Fort Washington Democrat, and launched an ad campaign. The DC-based PAC works to elect pro-choice women to office, and has three million members.
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