Maryland Gov. Wes Moore Backs Angela Alsobrooks In Senate Primary

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) endorsed in the Democratic primary for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat, helping elevate a county executive who could become a rare Black female voice in the chamber.

Moore, Maryland’s first Black governor, endorsed Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks in Baltimore on Monday. Alsobrooks is one of several Democrats running to succeed Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who is retiring at the end of 2024.

Moore’s backing sends a powerful message of institutional support from a top Maryland Democrat, who himself emerged from a competitive primary in 2022 to become governor.

“Today, I am proud to announce my endorsement of County Executive Angela Alsobrooks to be Maryland’s next United States Senator. The world needs America’s leadership now more than ever; the country needs Maryland’s leadership now more than ever; and that leader is Angela Alsobrooks,” Moore said in a statement to HuffPost.

“Angela is a fighter. Angela is a leader. Angela is a public servant in every beautiful sense of that phrase. I believe that if you never forget who you are fighting for, you will never stop fighting. I believe that if you never forget why you do the work, the work will never exhaust you. And to understand why Angela is so good at what she does, you have to know her story. Because for Angela, this work isn’t political. It’s personal.”

Moore’s endorsement won’t necessarily clear the field for Alsobrooks, a former prosecutor in a majority-Black suburban county outside of Washington, D.C. She faces a steep challenge from Rep. David Trone (D-Md.), co-founder of Total Wine & More, who has poured millions from his own bank account into his previous campaigns.

Trone and Alsobrooks have each been racking up endorsements since entering the race. Trone has the support of dozens of his House colleagues from across the country, including Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Colin Allred (D-Texas), who are also running for Senate in 2024. But Alsobrooks has the backing of three House members from Maryland — Democratic Reps. Glenn Ivey, Kweisi Mfume and Steny Hoyer — as well as Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). EMILY’s List, which has a history of spending heavily in primaries to elect its preferred candidates, is also behind Alsobrooks.

If elected, Alsobrooks would be a barrier-breaking member of the Senate. She could be among the first Black women elected to the chamber since now-Vice President Kamala Harris in 2016. Only two Black women — Harris and Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois — have ever been elected senator.

That’s expected to change in 2024. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) is positioned to replace Democratic Sen. Tom Carper, who is also retiring in 2024 and has endorsed Blunt Rochester as his successor. Both Delaware and Maryland are states that Democrats easily carried in recent years, making the winner of the Democratic primary the heavy favorite in a general election.

Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) is currently the only Black female U.S. senator. The former EMILY’S List president was appointed caretaker of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat following Feinstein’s death last month.

Butler was not elected, however, and does not intend to seek a full term. Another Black woman, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), is running for the seat but lags behind two other candidates, Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter, in both polling and fundraising, meaning it’s less likely she’ll be the Democratic nominee than Blunt Rochester and Alsobrooks.

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