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Kathleen Matthews Endorses Chris Van Hollen's Senate Bid

Matthews endorsed Van Hollen, the man she's hoping to replace in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kathleen Matthews, a Democrat running for Congress in Maryland's 8th District, announced her support for the man she is trying to succeed, endorsing the Senate bid of Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen.  

In a statement posted  on her website Monday, Matthews lauded the seven-term member as a "progressive" but a "pragmatist" — the same way she is trying to present herself in a race where, until recently , she had faced fiercest opposition from liberal state Sen. Jamie Raskin.  "It’s time that I make my support of his campaign official," Matthews said. "His ability to work with people of both parties is critical during this era of divided government."  

Some Candidates Mention Flint Crisis in Fundraising Appeals

Weaver testified before Congress about the water issues in her city. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As Congress heard testimony from Flint's mayor about the water crisis there, some House and Senate candidates sent out fundraising pitches to their email lists mentioning the Michigan city's troubles.  

In an email to supporters in his competitive Maryland Senate primary race against Rep. Donna Edwards, Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, linked to a webpage titled "Stand With Chris," with a donate button at the top. It asked potential donors to "Join Chris in demanding justice" for Flint.  

Political Wrangling Over 'People's Pledge' in New Hampshire

Ayotte challenged Hassan to a People's Pledge Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the presidential circus having left their backyard, New Hampshire's Senate candidates lost little time this week digging into each other's commitment to limiting spending in what's expected to be one of the most competitive and expensive Senate races in the country.  

Just days after Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders won the New Hampshire Democratic primary with 60 percent of the vote — a presidential race in which he's made campaign finance a big issue against Hillary Clinton — Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte came out with a surprising campaign finance proposal of her own. “Campaigns don't have to be driven by third-party groups — we can change the status quo and take a stand to say that this race should be about New Hampshire," she wrote to her Democratic rival, Gov. Maggie Hassan, in challenging her to sign a "People's Pledge" to limit outside spending in their Senate race.  

Time Is Running Out for Senate Primaries Fundraising

Duckworth has outraised her primary and general election opponents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For several of this year's competitive Senate primaries, the fourth quarter of 2015 was the last fundraising quarter before primary day.  

In Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina, voters go to the polls on March 15, a month before the next Federal Election Commission fundraising report deadline. In all three of those states, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has backed the better-known candidate, who, unsurprisingly, raised more money from October through December of 2015. In Illinois, Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, the DSCC's pick , raised $1.6 million, beating the $314,000 haul of her closest primary opponent, former Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp. State Sen. Napoleon Harris reportedly raised about $1 million. Notably for Duckworth, she again slightly out-raised  vulnerable GOP Sen. Mark S. Kirk and substantially narrowed the gap between their cash-on-hand totals.  

Baltimore the Battleground for Two Maryland Senate Candidates

With Cummings out of the Maryland Senate race, Baltimore, his hometown, will be key for Edwards and Van Hollen. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly File Photo)

In the political theater Maryland voters will see over the next nearly three months ahead of the April elections, the main characters in the state's Democratic primary finally know their roles.  

Reps. Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen, two Democrats who had been looking over their shoulder for months to see if Rep. Elijah E. Cummings was looking to join them in the race for retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's Senate seat, got the news they were hoping for on Tuesday: He won't.  After months of consideration, Cummings, the popular Baltimore lawmaker, announced he would seek election to a 12th term in Congress representing the state's 7th District. The move solidifies the primary field for this seat, which is rated Safe Democratic by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call.  

Elijah Cummings Won't Run for Senate in Maryland

Cummings will run for re-election, not Senate. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who had been considering a campaign for his state's open seat in the Senate, said Tuesday he has decided to run instead for a 12th term in Congress.  

His public statement came after months of speculation that the Baltimore resident would join Reps. Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen in the race for retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's seat, a race in which polling suggested he would enter as the front-runner. "I am mindful of the great opportunity that service in the United States Senate would present," Cummings said in a statement. "I believe that I can best serve the people of our city, our state and our nation by continuing my work in Congress, by continuing to touch people in every part of our great nation, and by leading an united effort to elect progressives across the board – rather than by focusing upon one single Senate race."  

With Wednesday Deadline Looming, Cummings Hasn't Filed for Office in Maryland

Cummings, at left, still has not decided whether he will run for Senate or re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 5:52 p.m. | If you were browsing the Maryland Board of Elections website midday on Monday, you might have thought you'd stumbled upon some news.  

For at least a couple hours, the board's official website showed that Rep. Elijah E. Cummings — the Democrat considering joining the competitive Democratic primary for the seat being vacated by Maryland Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski — had filed for re-election in the state's 7th District, with just two days to spare until Wednesday night's filing deadline.  

8 Senate Races to Watch as 4th Quarter Fundraising Ends

The fourth quarter will be Hassan's first to file as a Senate candidate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the end of the year comes the end of another fundraising quarter. And while campaigns are not required to file their quarterly reports with the Federal Election Commission until Jan. 31, now begins a month of speculation about who will end the year on a high note and who will ring in 2016 needing to step up their cash game. New HampshireIn the battle for the Senate, all eyes will be on New Hampshire, where Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan will be filing her first quarterly report since entering the race to unseat GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte in October. In what’s expected to be one of the most competitive races in the country, Hassan’s haul will be closely scrutinized to see how she compares to Ayotte, who has more than $5 million in cash on hand. North Carolina:  This will also be the first fundraising quarter for former state Rep. Deborah Ross , one of the Democrats vying to take on GOP Sen. Richard Burr. Ross has emerged as Washington Democrats’ preferred candidate after several top recruits, including former Sen. Kay Hagan, passed on the race, but she hasn’t received any formal endorsements from the D.C. establishment. This quarter will go a long way toward clarifying how competitive Ross will be against No. 7 on Roll Call’s list of the 10 most vulnerable senators . Maryland Senate:  Until primary day, fundraising reports are one of the few metrics available to assess who’s pulling away in intraparty matchups.

We’ll be watching to see whether the $1 million that EMILY’s List invested in TV and radio spots on her behalf can help Edwards close the gap before the April 26 primary.

Republicans Dream of Mikulski's Senate Seat; Democrats Aren't Worried

Maryland Republicans say Hogan laid a path to victory for future Republican candidates in his bright blue state. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images File Photo)

A Republican has not represented Maryland in the Senate since 1987, the end of the late liberal Republican Sen. Charles Mathias’ three-term tenure.  

But this time around, in the race for the same seat Mathias held until it was snagged by Democrat Barbara A. Mikulski three decades ago, some Republicans feel buoyed by the surprising victory of one of their own, Larry Hogan, in the 2014 governor's race. “You’ve got to get a record number of crossover independents to be with you. Larry Hogan provided a great roadmap for that," said Chrys Kefalas, a Republican who announced his candidacy for Senate this week after several months of fundraising and meeting with voters across the Free State. “I don’t think anyone else running for the Republican nomination can build a coalition for November.”  

Baltimore Democrats Say Cummings Won't Enter Senate Race

Van Hollen secured endorsements from a region with primary votes ripe for picking. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

   

Two prominent Baltimore Democrats who endorsed Rep. Chris Van Hollen on Monday said their hometown congressman, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, told them he's not getting into the race to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.