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Edwards hires Delzell to run Senate campaign

Rep. Donna F. Edwards announced her run for Senate via video, jumping into a crowded race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. The Democrat was first elected to the House in 2008.

WASHINGTON -- A well-respected Democratic operative with a background in New Hampshire politics will serve as Rep. Donna F. Edwards' campaign manager in her bid for Senate next year.

Garrick Delzell, a political adviser at Emily's List, ran Rep. Ann McLane Kuster's successful campaign over incumbent Republican Charlie Bass in 2012. The Bucknell University grad also worked as a consultant to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Gov. Maggie Hassan -- both New Hampshire Democrats.

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"Congresswoman Edwards is excited about the addition of Garrick Delzell as campaign manager, and looks forward to announcing her full team in the coming weeks," the Edwards campaign said in a statement.

Delzell has spent the last two years at Emily's List, the Washington-based group that helps elect Democratic women who support abortion rights. The group announced its endorsement for Edwards last month and could play a significant role in her fundraising effort.

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Several state Democrats gave Delzell high marks for running tight, professional campaigns around the country. Neil Sroka, a Democracy for America spokesman, said Delzell has managed to build strong relationships with many of the party's core constituencies.

"My first reaction was that he is an obvious, smart choice," said Sroka, whose group was part of an early effort to draft Edwards into the race. "It makes perfect sense that Donna would choose someone like him."

Edwards, a Prince George's County Democrat, is running for the seat that will be left open in 2017 by the retirement of Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Montgomery County has also announced his candidacy. Several others are considering a run.

Edwards defeated 15-year incumbent Al Wynn in the 2008 Democratic primary and was elected in a special election later that year. She represents the 4th Congressional District.

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If elected, Edwards, 56, would be the first African-American to represent Maryland in the Senate, and only the second black woman in the Senate's history. Democrat Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois served a single term from 1993 to 1999.

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