Van Hollen adds labor endorsement in Senate race

Rep. Chris Van Hollen picked up the second labor endorsement of his campaign for Senate on Friday, adding a 12,000-member teamsters union based in Washington to his list of supporters.

"Like Barbara Mikulski, Chris will be a senator who always fights for paycheck fairness, overtime wages and a secure retirement for every Marylander," Ferline Buie, president of Teamsters Joint Council No. 55 said in a statement.

Van Hollen, a Montgomery County Democrat, received the endorsement of Teamsters Joint Council No. 62 in Baltimore earlier this year. His opponent for the nomination, Rep. Donna F. Edwards of Prince George's County, announced support from Teamsters Local 639 this week.

In an example of how locals can break with councils on political matters, the vice president of the council endorsing Van Hollen, Tommy Ratliff, is the president of the local that endorsed Edwards.

Nearly a year out from the primary -- and with a field that is not necessarily settled -- the early involvement by labor underscores the rapid pace with which the campaigns are moving.

Van Hollen and Edwards are running to replace retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.

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