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Baltimore women organize event for Van Hollen

Annapolis, MD - 7/13/15 -Amy Davis /Baltimore Sun - Rep. Chris Van Hollen, running for U.S. Senate, received support from Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, left, and prominent state environmental activists who held a press conference on Dock Street in Annapolis to kickoff the coalition of "Environmentalists for Van Hollen." Among the speakers endorsing Van Hollen were Marcia Verploegen Lewis, J. Charles "Chuck" Fox, Verna Harrison and Cindy Schwartz. #2499
Annapolis, MD - 7/13/15 -Amy Davis /Baltimore Sun - Rep. Chris Van Hollen, running for U.S. Senate, received support from Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, left, and prominent state environmental activists who held a press conference on Dock Street in Annapolis to kickoff the coalition of "Environmentalists for Van Hollen." Among the speakers endorsing Van Hollen were Marcia Verploegen Lewis, J. Charles "Chuck" Fox, Verna Harrison and Cindy Schwartz. #2499 (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

More than two dozen prominent Baltimore-area Democratic women are organizing an event for Maryland Senate candidate Chris Van Hollen, including a powerful state lawmaker and the chief of staff to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The event, scheduled for Dec. 10, is being hosted by Del. Adrienne A. Jones of Baltimore County, Baltimore NAACP president Tessa Hill-Aston and Rawlings-Blake chief of staff Kaliope Parthemos, among others, according to an invitation obtained by The Sun.

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The lead organizers are Sen. Delores G. Kelley of Baltimore County and attorney Sheila K. Sachs.

The "Baltimore Region Women for Van Hollen" will come just days after Emily's List said it would spend $1 million on advertising in the Baltimore region for Van Hollen's opponent, Rep. Donna F. Edwards. The Washington-based gr"oup helps to elect Democratic female candidates who support abortion rights.

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Edwards and Van Hollen are running in the Democratic primary for the seat that will be left open in 2017 by the retirement of Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, the first Democratic woman elected to the Senate who did not follow a male family member. Mikulski has been an advocate for women's issues during her nearly 30-year tenure.

The invitation also notes several other elected women, including state lawmakers from the Baltimore region and members of the Baltimore City Council who have previously endorsed Van Hollen's campaign.

Van Hollen was also endorsed Tuesday by the political arm of CASA, the state's most influential immigrants rights groups.

"Having worked closely with Chris since 2001, I know he is ready to challenge the status quo to advance justice," said Gustavo Torres, president of the group, CASA in Action "We need real change makers in the U.S. Senate and I am convinced that Chris Van Hollen is committed to being that hero for immigrants."

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