Sen. Ben Cardin won the support of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance on Monday in his bid for a second term, the latest in a series of endorsements the Democrat hopes will secure his support with black voters in the April primary election.
Cardin, who is white, faces State Sen. C. Anthony Muse in the primary. In addition to his work in Annapolis, Muse leads an African-American church in Prince George's County.
In 2006, Cardin faced a close Democratic primary race against former congressman and NAACP president Kweisi Mfume. Cardin won the race by 4 points but lost in heavily black portions of the state, including Baltimore and Prince George's County (Mfume also carried Charles County).
Cardin went on to win against then-Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, a black Republican, by 10 points in the general election.
This year, Cardin has won endorsements from several high-profile black leaders, including Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mfume, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and President Barack Obama.
"Senator Ben Cardin has proven himself to be a leader who is capable of making the right decisions that will positively impact the future of our nation," the Rev. Alvin Gwynn, Sr., president of the ministers group and pastor of Baltimore's Friendship Baptist Church, said in a statement. "He fully understands and he is compassionate towards the needs of the people whom he has been called to serve."