Pelosi, Hoyer won't endorse in Maryland Senate race
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will stay out what is likely to be a crowded Democratic primary in the race for Maryland Senate. 

A spokesperson for Pelosi told The Hill she won't get involved in the race.

“Leader Pelosi is focused on electing more Democrats to the House," spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement. "She is confident this Senate seat will stay Democratic."


So far, Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards are the only candidates to officially enter the contest to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiAthletic directors honor best former student-athletes on Capitol Hill Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Robert Mueller's forgotten surveillance crime spree MORE (D-Md.), but at least nine other Democrats in the state are considering bids.

Last week, Pelosi told the New York Times she’d prefer to see Van Hollen stay in House, arguing that the Democratic caucus could benefit from a “generational change.

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will also stay out of the primary, at least for now. Hoyer’s office said he “has no plans to endorse at the moment." The top Democratic lawmaker is the only member of the House Democratic delegation not looking at a bid. 

Not all Democratic leaders are staying on the sidelines. Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMajor overhauls needed to ensure a violent revolution remains fictional Senate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees GOP has always been aggressive in trying to weaponize the system of judicial nominations MORE (D-Nev.) endorsed Van Hollen last week, but the statements from Pelosi and Hoyer indicate that other influential members of Congress will stay on the sidelines as their colleagues battle it out.

Democrats are bracing for a drawn out and potentially bitter primary. Mikulski’s unexpected retirement has opened the floodgates on a deep bench of Democratic officials in the state that have been eyeing the Senate for some time.

This post was updated at 7:19 p.m.