LPAC Executive Director Beth Shipp in a statement described Edwards as an “outspoken champion and advocate for LGBTQ women and the issues we care about.”
“From LGBT rights to women’s equality to social justice, Donna has been on the front lines of all the important battles we’ve fought and she has stood shoulder to shoulder with us every step of the way,” said Shipp. “LPAC is incredibly proud to support her and we look forward to having her voice in the U.S. Senate next year.”
“I am thrilled to receive the support of LPAC in my race for the United States Senate,” said Edwards in the LPAC statement. “Together, we have fought to achieve women’s and LGTBQ equality right here in Maryland and all across our country.”
LPAC is the first LGBT-specific organization to endorse Edwards in her race against Congressman Chris Van Hollen ahead of the April 26 Democratic primary.
Both candidates spoke in support of Maryland’s same-sex marriage law ahead of the 2012 referendum on it. Edwards and Van Hollen are also co-sponsors of the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights law.
“Whenever inequality pops up, you have to smack back at it,” Edwards told the Washington Blade last month during an interview at her Prince George’s County campaign office.
A poll the Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore released last week shows that Edwards is ahead of Van Hollen by a 34-28 percent margin. The candidates’ latest Federal Election Commission filings indicate that Van Hollen has raised more than 10 times the amount of money than Edwards.
Edwards and Van Hollen on Friday faced off in their first debate that took place on the “Kojo Nnamdi Show” on WAMU.
Neither candidate discussed LGBT-specific issues during the debate. Van Hollen noted that former state Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery County) is among the Maryland elected officials who have endorsed him.