"We are on the verge of not having any representation of women in our state in the Senate, and I think that’s pretty compelling, and it’s something that certainly makes me think about it even more," Edwards told CQ Roll Call Wednesday.
In 2008, Edwards ousted another Democrat, Rep. Albert Wynn, to win her first term with backing from progressive groups. Some of those same groups — Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America — have launched petitions to draft Edwards into the Senate race.
But Edwards could face strong headwinds. Van Hollen had $1.7 million in cash on hand as of the end of 2014, while Edwards kicked off the new year with just $30,000 in her campaign account.
What's more, Van Hollen's has early support: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid endorsed him Friday. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee communications director Justin Barasky, however, made clear in Friday tweets the committee had not picked a favorite candidate.
Edwards said Wednesday she had no qualms about running against her House colleagues.
"Was it a factor to me when I ran for Congress against a seven-term incumbent and every bit of the establishment was against me? Not really," she said, referring to her 2008 run.
A growing list of Maryland politicos have expressed interest in a Senate bid in the days since Mikulski announced she would not seek another term. Six of the seven Democratic House members have said they are interested in a bid. Van Hollen was the first to formally announce a campaign.
Edwards' announcement also marks the start of a crowded race for her 4th District House seat. The district is solidly Democratic: Obama won it with 78 percent of the vote in 2012.
Related: Van Hollen May Not Have Field to Himself (Updated) Is the Senate Where It’s At for Ambitious House Democrats? The Maryland Democrat Who Wants to Stay Where He Is Democratic Floodgates Open for Maryland House Seat Van Hollen’s Exit Changes House Democratic Leadership Landscape Mikulski Will Not Seek Another Term The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.