Within hours of Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski's retirement announcement this week, the game of political musical chairs began in that deep-blue state.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen
, a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who has represented the 8th Congressional District in Congress since 2002, announced he would run for her Senate seat.
Van Hollen's announcement was followed by a report by Politico
that Kathleen Matthews, executive vice president and chief global-communications and public affairs officer with Marriott International, plans to run to succeed Van Hollen in the 8th District seat.
A popular news anchor on WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate in the Nation's Capital, she was a fixture on local television before joining Marriott in 2008. Mrs. Matthews – wife of Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's political interview program "Hardball" – has reportedly started interviewing political consultants and discussing the race with Democrat Party activists.
According to Politico, Matthews, who has long discussed running for office, "advocated Marriott's move toward more progressive policies, including sustainability and LGBT [lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender] friendliness."
In addition, Matthews – who sits on the boards of Ford's Theatre, the Girl Scouts and Catholic Charities Foundation – pushed for the Marriott Corp. to open a hotel in Haiti after a recent earthquake. Former President Bill Clinton traveled there for the opening last month.
The heavily Democratic 8th Congressional District stretches from the Maryland-D.C. line to the Maryland-Pennsylvania border.
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