Abortion rights PAC endorses Hollinger

EMILY's List support could help raise funds


EMILY's List, the biggest political action committee in the nation, announced this week that it is endorsing state Sen. Paula C. Hollinger in the 3rd Congressional District, a move that could steer tens of thousands of dollars to her campaign and give her an early advantage in the crowded race.

The organization, which is dedicated to electing Democratic women who support abortion rights, praised Hollinger as a national leader in health care policy.

"She has a proven base and a long list of legislative accomplishments and an ability to win tough races," said Martha McKenna, campaign services director of EMILY's List.

Hollinger, who has been involved with EMILY'S List activities for years - including traveling to Japan to help set up a similar organization there - said she was pleased to get the group's endorsement because of its fundraising prowess and because of what it stands for.

"The women of this state have been extremely active over the years to get women elected that are good on the social issues and good on the choice issue, and I think that it will make a major difference," she said.

Founded in 1985 by Maryland women looking to make Barbara A. Mikulski the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate in her own right, the group now has 100,000 members nationwide and raised $10.7 million to help candidates last year. EMILY stands for "early money is like yeast" because "it makes the dough rise," according to the group's Web site.

Since then, the group has helped elect 61 Democratic women to the House of Representatives, 11 to the U.S. Senate and eight to governors' mansions.

Hollinger is one of two women in the race to replace Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, who is running for the U.S. Senate. The other, attorney and retired Army officer Mishonda M. Baldwin, is a newcomer to politics.

The other Democrats running are: former television reporter Andy Barth; former Baltimore Health Commissioner Peter L. Beilenson; businessman Oz Bengur; Kevin O'Keeffe, former top-level aide to the governments in Anne Arundel County and Baltimore; and attorney John P. Sarbanes.

No Republicans have expressed interest in running in the district, which includes parts of Baltimore and Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties.

andy.green@baltsun.com jennifer.skalka@baltsun.com

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