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National women's group backs Edwards

National women's group backs Edwards
BALTIMORE, MD -- 6/19/15 -- U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards speaks at the first Rural Maryland Democratic Summit in Frederick on Saturday. Edwards and fellow U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Chris Van Hollen participated in a forum as part of the day-long summit. Both Edwards and Van Hollen emphasized that they can represent the interests of conservative-leaning voters in rural counties. md-rural-democrats-edwards Pamela Wood/Baltimore Sun staff #5812 (Pamela Wood / Baltimore Sun)

A national women's group endorsed Rep. Donna Edwards' campaign for Senate on Tuesday as the two Democratic candidates are working to appeal to female voters.

The National Women's Political Caucus said in a statement that Edwards, of Prince George's County, has an "impeccable record on women's rights and a strong track record for effective leadership."

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The group is the latest national women's organization to back Edwards. Her opponent for the Democratic nomination, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Montgomery County, has by contrast received the backing of several prominent female lawmakers in the state.

It's unlikely the NWPC is in a position to have a significant impact on the race: The group, founded in 1971, spent less than $1,000 on campaigns across the nation in the 2014 cycle. In a brief interview, the group's president said it has chapters throughout the nation, and that it requests that its members donate directly to the candidates they support.

Edwards -- who has frequently discussed what she views as the importance of having a woman fill the seat held for years by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski -- has benefited from Emily's List, the Washington-based group that supports Democratic women. The organization has spent $1 million on advertising in Baltimore.

Van Hollen has received endorsements from several Maryland women, including state Sen. Delores G. Kelley of Baltimore County, Del. Maggie L. McIntosh of Baltimore and former NARAL Pro-Choice America board Chairwoman Rosalyn Levy Jonas. The campaign is running an ad on broadcast and cable television targeted at women.

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