Rep. Chris Van Hollen's campaign for Senate received endorsements from several firefighter unions Monday, including a statewide organization and a Baltimore County local -- the latest indication the Montgomery County lawmaker is working to expand his reach in Baltimore.
The Maryland affiliate of the International Association of Firefighters -- along with local chapters from Baltimore, Prince George's and Montgomery counties -- said Monday they are supporting Van Hollen's bid for the Senate seat that will be left open by retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.
"These are the individuals who represent the men and women who protect our families and our communities every day," Van Hollen said at the Fire Museum of Maryland in Lutherville. "It's humbling to have the support of men and women who put their lives at risk."
Van Hollen and Rep. Donna Edwards of Prince George's County are running for the seat.
Van Hollen has been increasingly focusing his attention on the Baltimore region in recent weeks, despite speculation about whether Baltimore Rep. Elijah E. Cummings will enter the race. Van Hollen's run two television commercials in the Baltimore market in recent weeks and has two events scheduled in the area Monday.
The second event -- organized by his congressional office, not his campaign -- is a forum that will also feature Cummings.