Democracy for America, a national political action committee founded by former Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean, has endorsed Del. Heather R. Mizeur in her long-shot bid for the Democratic nomination for governor.

The liberal group's nod gives Mizeur, a Montgomery County lawmaker, a boost in her race against Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.

Charles Chamberlain, executive director of the organization, said Mizeur would be more than Maryland's first openly gay and first woman governor.

"She'll make history as an unabashed progressive champion with the vision and leadership needed to get things done in Annapolis," he said in a statement issued by the group.

The group was founded in 2004 by Dean, a former Vermont governor and Democratic national chairman.

Democracy for America claims a membership of 19,281 in Maryland and 1 million nationwide. The group says its members have raised more than $5 million and placed more than 8.9 million volunteer calls in support of liberal candidates across the country.

Mizeur released a statement saying she was excited to gain the endorsement of what she called "the nation's most progressive grassroots powerhouse."