On April 20, U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), only African American and lone female candidate for retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s (D-Md.) Senate seat, received a contribution of $2,600 from legendary entertainer Barbara Streisand, according to her campaign. Streisand has worked as an actress, songwriter, singer, and filmmaker for six decades.
Streisand is one of the few performers who have been honored with all of the major entertainment prizes including two Academy Awards, eight Grammys, five Emmys including a Daytime Emmy, a Tony, an American Film Institute Award, a Kennedy Center Honors prize, a Peabody, and 11 Golden Globes.
Streisand is also a prolific political donor to Democratic and progressive candidates. A representative for the mega-star said that Streisand and Edwards have met. “She knows Congresswoman Donna Edwards and has long admired her work on gender equity and health care,” the representative said.
Edwards also got endorsements from Montgomery County leaders Doug Duncan and Maryland State Sen. Karen Montgomery (D-District 14). Duncan served as county executive for Montgomery from 1994-2006.
“Donna has a strong history of standing with Montgomery County families on economic fairness, environmental stewardship and strengthening retirement programs for our seniors,” Duncan said. “Her experiences and values make her a principled, progressive fighter with a unique, proven record of improving lives of working families. Marylanders deserve a senator like that to follow in the footsteps of Mikulski.”
Montgomery agrees with Duncan. “I am proud to endorse Donna Edwards,” she said. “We need a tough, capable woman from Maryland to follow in the footsteps of another tough, capable woman from Maryland.”
Edwards has gotten the support so far of Carol Moseley Braun, the only Black woman to serve in the Senate, and seven members of the Prince George’s County Council. She is receiving support from Emily’s List, an organization dedicated to promoting and financing female candidates for public office and other national progressive organizations.
Edwards’ main opponent at this point is U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) who is supported by Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and all nine members of the Montgomery County Council, including African-American Craig Rice (D-District 2).
The Democratic Party primary in Maryland will take place April 5, 2016.
The race to replace Van Hollen recently got a Black candidate, Will Jawando. Jawando, who worked in Obama’s Office of Public Engagement and at the U.S. Department of Education, joined the contest to represent Maryland’s eighth congressional district onApril 28. Maryland Delegates Kumar Barve (D-District 17), Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-District 18) and State Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-District 20) are the other candidates that have declared for the seat.
Jawando, who ran unsuccessfully for the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014, said he will bring fresh ideas to Washington for his constituents. “To solve the significant challenges we face, we need new leadership, fresh ideas, and an inclusive approach to making Congress work for working families – that’s the kind of leader I’ll be,” Jawando said. “Together, we’ll fight to bring more good paying jobs to our neighborhoods, strengthen our schools and ensure equal justice and opportunity for all.”