Rep. Donna Edwards
Rep. Donna Edwards in 2008

The Washington Post found “two Democrats familiar with [Rep. Donna Edwards’s] plans” who told them that the well-courted liberal will announce on Tuesday her intention to run for Barbara Mikulski’s soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat.

Edwards will face Rep. Chris Van Hollen, and likely others, for the Democratic nomination. Van Hollen, a centrist, has already garnered the endorsement of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, but that’s apparently not enough to avoid a contested primary race.

Several progressive political action committees were eager to draft Edwards to run for the seat. But her nomination looks like something of a long shot. Van Hollen’s fund raising powers thus far dwarf those of Edwards, and he’s starting with $1.7 million in his campaign fund.

Political columnist Barry Rascovar figures that Edwards’s chances would be aided by a “crowded Democratic primary” assuming she is the only “far-left candidate.”

Maryland Republican Party Executive Director Joe Cluster sees a chance for a Republican to take the seat if the Democratic field grows. He told the Washington Post that he doesn’t expect a Republican to announce their candidacy until it looks likely that they would face a liberal Democrat in the general election.