State Sen. Jamie Raskin, formally launching his campaign for Maryland's 8th Congressional District on Sunday, told supporters he wouldn't back away from the progressive stances that have defined his tenure in Annapolis.
"My ambition is not to be in the political center, it is to be in the moral center," Raskin told a standing-room only gathering at a Takoma Park restaurant. "We will get the political center to move to us."
Raskin, a leader of the Senate's liberal wing and a law professor at American University, is running to replace Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is seeking the seat left open by retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. Veteran Del. Kumar Barve of Montgomery County, a former House majority leader, is also in for the 8th District seat.
The district is largely based in Montgomery County, and is widely considered a safe bet for a Democrat in the general election, but it also includes portions of Frederick and Carroll Counties.
Raskin was joined by several high-profile figures endorsing his campaign on Sunday, including Rep. John Sarbanes of Baltimore County and Attorney General Brian Frosh. He hit on several themes he said he would work on in Washington, including climate change, income inequality and campaign finance.
Born in Washington, Raskin, 52, was elected to the state Senate in 2006.