Rep. Chris Van Hollen's campaign for Senate has hired two veteran political operatives that previously worked for former Gov. Martin O'Malley -- both of whom have deep statewide campaign experience.
Tom Russell, who served as campaign manager for O'Malley's 2010 reelection, and Colleen Martin-Lauer, a well-established, Maryland-based fundraiser, have both been hired as consultants on the campaign, a Van Hollen aide confirmed.
Russell previously served as director of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, which works to build policy positions for the party, and worked on campaigns in Michigan, Rhode Island, New York and elsewhere. He led the O'Malley campaign to a 15-point win over Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in 2010.
Martin-Lauer's role with Van Hollen is particularly interesting because she has long counted Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as a client. Rawlings-Blake said last month she was seriously considering a run for Senate, but there have been several indications since then that she will not run.
Both consultants have been involved in several successful statewide campaigns.
Van Hollen is running for the Senate seat that will be left open by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's retirement in 2017. Rep. Donna F. Edwards is the only other politician who has declared her candidacy but several others, including Baltimore Rep. Elijah E. Cummings and Montgomery County Rep. John Delaney, are considering a run.