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    HomePoliticsJamie Raskin endorses Angela Alsobrooks in high-stakes Md. Senate race

    Jamie Raskin endorses Angela Alsobrooks in high-stakes Md. Senate race

    Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) weighed in on Maryland’s closely watched U.S. Senate contest Monday, endorsing Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) over Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) in the May 14 primary — but also vowing to help keep the typically blue seat out of Republican hands, regardless of the winner.

    “Who do we want on the floor of the U.S. Senate defending women’s right to choose? I want Angela Alsobrooks,” Raskin said. “Who do we want defending the right of the people to vote? I want Angela Alsobrooks. This is not a time anyone can afford to sit on the sidelines.”

    Maryland has not sent a Republican to the Senate since 1980, but with control of the chamber in play and a formidable Republican as the likely nominee, the contest has higher stakes this year.

    In an interview, Raskin said he will work to help any Democrat who wins the primary and faces the likely GOP nominee, former governor Larry Hogan, in November.

    “If Larry Hogan were to go to the Senate, he’d be another brick in the wall for Donald Trump and his party,” Raskin said in a video announcing his endorsement.

    Raskin, a constitutional lawyer, is the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee and was a popular liberal among rank-and-file Maryland Democrats even before he gained national prominence for his role in Trump’s second impeachment trial and Jan. 6 hearings. His influential endorsement constitutes a broad megaphone.

    Raskin had considered running for the seat, which is being vacated by retiring Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). But after opting out in July, Raskin largely stayed quiet on the race.

    Asked why he didn’t jump in after Hogan filed at the last minute, Raskin said he had made a commitment to work against Biden impeachment efforts in the House and decided it wasn’t necessary.

    “I checked with a whole bunch of people, in office and out of office, to see whether they thought I was the only person who could beat Larry Hogan,” Raskin said. “And everybody said that any of the three of us could beat Hogan. … so I figured that my role is to help the Democrats win. And that’s the role I hope to play in this race.”

    Alsobrooks has already shored up support from much of the top tier of Maryland’s political establishment. Still, she is trailing Trone in a wide-open primary contest, with 39 percent of voters saying they are undecided in a recent Washington Post-University of Maryland poll.

    The same poll found Hogan leading either Democrat by double digits, even though voters also said by a 22-point margin that they wanted Democrats to retain control of the Senate.

    The endorsement also comes days after Trone apologized for mistakenly using a racial slur during a congressional budget hearing, but Raskin said neither the poll findings nor the gaffe influenced the timing of his endorsement.

    “It has become clear to me that we’re going to have a serious fight to hold our Senate seat,” Raskin said in the interview. “I think we will, but we need all hands on deck.”

    Raskin also said that he picked Alsobrooks over Trone because, like Cardin, her “career really comes out of local and state politics from the Maryland soil.” Alsobrooks grew up in Maryland and was a state prosecutor before she was elected to lead Prince George’s, a majority-Black suburb of D.C.

    Trone, a business executive who co-founded national liquor retailer Total Wine & More, ran against Raskin in the 2016 Democratic primary for the seat that was being vacated by now-U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) (Raskin won; Trone ran in the neighboring district two years later.)

    “The critical thing here is that we just want to remain very positive, on the high road, for the general election,” Raskin said. “I’ve told both Alsobrooks and Trone that we need both of them to be as passionately engaged in the general election as they are in the primary — win or lose. And I am as passionately engaged for the Democratic nominee as I would be if my name was on the ballot.”

    On Sunday, several additional members of the Congressional Black Caucus endorsed Alsobrooks: Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.); Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.); Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio); Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.); and Jasmine Crockett (D-Tex.).

    Trone, who previously received endorsements from several major labor unions and top House Democratic leaders, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), is expected to release a new slate of his own endorsements Monday morning.



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