Donna Edwards, a U.S. Representative from Maryland, is fighting to make history. She hopes to become the first African-American senator from Maryland and only the tenth Black senator in American history.
Rep Edwards is currently locked in a heated battle with Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen in one of the tightest political contests we’ve seen. Polls have them running neck-and-neck, and in an effort to move ahead, Rep. Van Hollen has distributed an interesting series of attack ads aimed at discrediting Edwards.
Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD) spoke with Roland Martin about her campaign to become the first African-American senator from Maryland, her opponent’s disparaging tactics, and the lack of support she has received from the CBC PAC.
Rep Edwards called the attacks made against her “ridiculous,” telling Martin: “I have a record of accomplishment, I serve in our leadership in the House of Representatives — the first piece of legislation I actually got passed was to add Maryland to something called the After School Supper Program, delivering suppers to children who are vulnerable.”
She then said, “Do you know why I can see it? ‘Cause I’m a mom and that perspective is really needed in the United States Senate.”
Rep. Van Hollen claims Edwards has focused too much on race and gender to win the seat left open by retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski. Edwards responded to those allegations: “I think that race and gender are important things — it’s not the only reason that people vote for others, but here is a fact — we have a United States Senate, 100 senators, 20 women, no African-American women in the United States Senate.”
She continued, “African-American women are the backbone of the Democratic Party, provide more votes, have higher registration, higher participation than any other demographic group.”
“I think it’s important for our voices, all of our voices collectively, to be heard in the Senate and more importantly, for somebody who has walked in shoes of the middle-class families, who knows what it’s like to struggle for the rent and the electric, juggling daycare,” Rep. Edwards said. “Those are perspectives that are really needed in the U.S. Senate when it comes to making public policy that impacts the lives of working people.”
In speaking about what makes her uniquely qualified for Senate, Congresswoman Edwards said, “I can provide the best direction for Marylanders and for the country, frankly, on these issues that impact communities all across the country.”
In speaking about the lack of support she has received from the CBC PAC, whose purpose – according to www.cbcpac.org – is to work to “increase the number of African-Americans in the U.S. Congress, support non-Black candidates that champion our interests,” Edwards said though the political action committee did not support her, she has the support of “many members of the Black Caucus.”
Rep. Edwards mentioned Representatives Gwen Moore, Lacy Clay, Cedric Richmond, Jim Clyburn, Hank Johnson and “a long list of folks” who have come out in support of her campaign. She also said “at least half” of the Congressional Black Caucus has supported her campaign monetarily.
Watch Roland Martin and Rep. Donna Edwards discuss her campaign for Senate in the video clip above.
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