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Mikulski offers Clinton's name for nomination; Rawlings-Blake conducts roll call

Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday in Philadelphia. (Video by John Fritze)

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski submitted Hillary Clinton's name to be the Democratic Party's presidential nominee on Tuesday, a symbolic role that nonetheless brought significant exposure.

The Maryland Democrat, a longtime Clinton supporter, delivered a short address that served as a motion to nominate her former Senate colleague. Mikulski, the longest-serving woman in Senate history, is expected to speak again at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night.

"Yes, we do break barriers," Mikulski said. "And so, on behalf of all the women who've broken down barriers for others, and with an eye toward the barriers still ahead, I proudly place Hillary Clinton's name in nomination to be the next president of the United States of America."

Mikulski, who is stepping down next year after three decades in the Senate, was followed by civil rights icon John Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia.

The nominating addresses led into the roll call of states, in which officials from each state recorded how many delegates they were casting for Clinton versus Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

That ritual is also mostly symbolic, but it is popular with convention attendees. Each state touts some history and notable residents as it casts its ballot.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Baltimore introduced Maryland as the birthplace of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the National Anthem and United States Naval Academy.

"We are elated to cast 36 votes for a truly great man, Bernie Sanders, and we are excited and we are happy to cast 84 votes for the next president of the United States of America, Hillary Rodham Clinton," Cummings yelled into the microphone.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who has taken on an unexpectedly public role here in Philadelphia, conducted the roll call.

Rawlings-Blake, the secretary of the Democratic National Committee since 2013, has taken over for Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who relinquished her role at the convention amid a scandal over internal party emails that were released online.

Mikulski in 1986 became the first Democratic woman to win a seat in the Senate in her own right — that is, without following a husband or father into office.

"Our Founding Fathers gave us a great start," she said. "But it was the Founding Mothers who said, "Do not forget the ladies or they will foment a revolution.'

"They started the job, but we're going to keep it going."

john.fritze@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jfritze

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