Former U.S. Representative Donna Edwards is running for Prince George’s County Executive. A former Congresswoman from the area, Edwards knows Prince George’s County better than anyone else. The incumbent County Executive is term-limited and Edwards is in a crowded primary with seven other Democrats. If she advances following the June 26 primary, she will most likely win in the general election.
Background and Achievements
Edwards has a long history of fighting for women’s rights, civil rights, and human rights. Before becoming a Congresswoman, Edwards was the executive director of the Arca Foundation and gained national attention for her attempts to raise the minimum wage, end capital punishment, and promote labor and human rights around the world. Edwards was also the co-founder and executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence where she was instrumental in the effort to pass the 1994 version of the Violence Against Women Act and worked with the Feminist Majority to pass the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban. She graduated from Wake Forest University and the New Hampshire School of Law.
Edwards is a former Congresswoman from Maryland’s 4th district, where she was one of the most progressive representatives in Congress. She was on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee. She also served as a member of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, co-chair of the Steering and Policy Committee, and chairwoman of the Taskforce on Election Reform. She served in Congress between June 2008 and January 2017 and was the first African American Congresswoman from Maryland.
Positions on Key Issues
- Is a leader in women’s rights, as well as reproductive, LGBT, workers’, and civil rights
- Has fought for raising the minimum wage
- Supports investments in HBCUs and STEM education
- Is a leader in ensuring equal pay for women
- Supports increasing access to affordable child care and paid sick leave
Prospects & Opponents
Edwards faces a tough and competitive April 26, 2016 primary race. Maryland has been traditionally regarded as a Democratic state, but elected a Republican governor in 2014. However, it is believed that the Democratic primary senatorial winner would be highly favored to win the seat in 2016. Her toughest race will be the April 26th primary against progressive Democratic U.S. Representative Christopher “Chris” Van Hollen. Currently (late March, 2016) Edwards is leading Van Hollen by 6% in the latest public opinion polls but Van Hollen is leading in fund raising.