March 18, 2016 at 1:39 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
LPAC endorses Edwards in U.S. Senate race

Donna Edwards, gay news, Washington Blade

Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards speaks with the Washington Blade at her Prince George’s County campaign office on Feb. 1, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A lesbian political action committee on Friday endorsed Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

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.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • Great choice, I’ll be voting for Donna Edwards here in MD as well. She’s ahead in the polls, but it will be close.

  • But she’s not even a member of the Equality Caucus which supports LGBT rights in the House. It’s the biggest Caucus in the House.

    • In it’s last 3 congressional scorecards, the Human Rights Campaign gave Donna Edwards 100%, 100%, and 100%. That’s a better score than they gave her opponent Chris Van Hollen! For that matter, it’s a better score than they gave Steny Hoyer, Elijah Cummings, or Dutch Ruppersberger. So if Maryland wants a senators who votes the right way on LGBT issues, you can’t do any better than a true liberal like Edwards.

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