Van Hollen raises over $1M since Mikulski announcement
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Rep. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenSenators prepare for possibility of Christmas in Washington during a shutdown Dem senator on Trump-Russia: No evidence yet ‘in terms of criminal collusion’ House Dems talking more about impeaching Trump MORE (D-Md.) announced Wednesday that he raised more than $1 million in the month since Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) made her surprise announcement to retire.

It’s a strong showing for Van Hollen, who last month became the first Maryland Democrat to announce he’d run to replace Mikulski in the Senate. His campaign will file a report with the Federal Election Commission later this month showing it raised nearly $1.2 million in the first quarter and ended with more than $2.5 million cash on hand.

"I'm grateful for the strong support our campaign has received from people all across our great state,” Van Hollen said in a statement.

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“We look forward to a people-driven campaign focused on issues important to all Marylanders," he added. "With their help, we will advance our common vision of a Maryland where everyone can benefit from greater economic opportunities — not just the wealthiest few."

Van Hollen is the establishment favorite in the race. He carries considerable heft on Capitol Hill as the ranking member on the House Budget committee and the former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has already endorsed Van Hollen’s Senate bid.

The Maryland Democrat is also racking up state-level endorsements. On Wednesday, his campaign said it had the support of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, as well endorsements from all of the members of the Montgomery County Council.

Still, Maryland Democrats are bracing for what could be a bitter primary battle.

So far, Rep. Donna EdwardsDonna F. EdwardsDemocratic Senate candidate blasts own party for racial 'foghorn' Autoworkers' union endorsing Van Hollen in MD Senate race Dem leaders' hard sell pays off on omnibus MORE (D-Md.) is the only other candidate to officially enter the race.  She will likely begin her campaign at a significant fundraising disadvantage, as FEC filings show she ended 2014 with only $30,000 in her campaign account.

But Edwards will likely get a boost from the progressive groups that launched efforts to get her in the race. She’s also won the endorsement of EMILY’s List, a deep-pocketed group that supports pro-abortion-rights Democratic women.

There are at least seven other candidates still weighing bids, including most of the Maryland Democratic delegation in the House.

Reps. Elijah Cummings, John Delaney, Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes have told The Hill they’re considering their options.

In addition, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a member of the powerful Kennedy family; and former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous are eyeing the open Senate seat.