BREAKING: The Scramble Nails It

The story is out, and I was right. Nobody reads tea leaves or tarot cards like Maryland Scramble. John Fritze:

One of the state’s most influential coalitions of local labor unions will endorse Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s campaign for Senate on Thursday, despite a deep history of supporting his primary opponent, Rep. Donna F. Edwards.

Seven local SEIU unions, representing more than 40,000 members in Maryland — including hospital workers, teachers and security guards — will throw their weight behind Van Hollen, the Montgomery County Democrat running for retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski’s seat.

The endorsement is significant in part because SEIU is known for its organizing prowess on behalf of Democratic candidates, providing a deep well of volunteers and advertising money. But it is also noteworthy because the unions have long been associated with Edwards, and were a major player in her 2008 primary campaign that toppled incumbent Rep. Albert R. Wynn.

Van Hollen “has a record of standing with labor and workers,” said Ricarra Jones, with 1199 SEIU. “We’re going to go with a person who is going to best represent our interests in the Senate.”

All the locals are in on this endorsement, as is the state council. This is the most significant endorsement of the race thus far. SEIU abandoning Edwards is a huge blow, symbolically as well as tangibly.

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