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Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski today endorsed fellow Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards, who faces a competitive primary later this year against a former county official.

“I am proud to support Congresswoman Donna Edwards,” the state’s senior Senator said in a statement. “She is part of the new generation of women in Congress who are coming into their own in a new way for a new day — claiming their power to empower others.”

Mikulski also referred to Edwards as her legislative “partner.”

Edwards is in her toughest re-election battle yet. She faces former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey. Ivey is well-known in the district and has extensive political connections.

An internal Edwards campaign poll in November showed the Congresswoman begins the race in a strong position, and national liberals such as Howard Dean, the Daily Kos website and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee were quick to back her in the primary.

State Democrats say that one of Ivey’s strengths will be an ability to fundraise, so the upcoming fourth-quarter fundraising reports will reveal much about where the race stands.

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