Rep. Chris Van Hollen's campaign for Senate picked up the endorsement Monday of the Sierra Club, the latest nod to the role climate change and the Chesapeake Bay could play in the Democratic primary to replace Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.
"We have seen his record for the past decades," the group's president, Aaron Mair, said on the shore of the Anacostia River in Bladensburg. "Chris is a climate champion and he has shown that he has the fortitude to craft and pass legislation to combat" climate change.
Shortly before the event began, Van Hollen's opponent, Rep. Donna Edwards of Prince George's County, highlighted two Sierra Club members who questioned the group's decision.
"Donna Edwards is the clear choice for Marylanders concerned about our environment," Bonnie Bick, political chair of the Southern Maryland group, said in a statement released by the Edwards campaign. "These dangerous trends cannot be reversed unless we choose brave and bold leaders who are committed to a better future."
Van Hollen, of Montgomery County, announced the support from several prominent environmental leaders in July at one of his first campaign events.
Still, the two leading Democratic candidates for Senate do not appear to have a significantly policy difference on environmental issues.
The primary is set for April 26.