Kathleen Matthews’ entry likely to help Kumar Barve

Former newswoman joins race to succeed Van Hollen.

AB Wire

WASHINGTON, DC: Maryland Del. Kumar Barve, who is running for Congress from Maryland’s 8th District, has another opponent, and that might not be bad after all for the longest serving Indian American state legislator.

Kathleen Matthews. Photo credit: Marriott International
Kathleen Matthews. Photo credit: Marriott International

The latest candidate to announce her campaign for the seat being vacated by Rep. Chris Van Hollen — who is running for the US Senate — is the well-known former Washington newswoman Kathleen Matthews.

Matthews is the wife of popular MSNBC host Christ Matthews. She worked for Marriott International as its Executive Vice President and Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer after leaving WJLA-TV, where she served as an anchor for 15 years, in 2006.

“I’m willing to do the hard work that it takes to actually take important ideas to this US Congress,” the 61-year-old said while announcing her candidacy, the Baltimore Sun reported. “I have spent a lifetime shattering the glass ceiling, advocating for women and children.”

Barve, who has served in the Maryland House for 24 years, announced his candidacy in March this year, saying that “I am ready to take my experience working for economic growth and fighting for our middle class to the federal level.”

In April, he received endorsement from Rep. Ami Bera, D-CA, the lone Indian American congressman.

Other candidates in the fray are Maryland State Sen. Jamie Raskin, State Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez and former Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement at the White House Will Jawando.

In the multi field race, the entry of Matthews, who has wide name recognition in the district because of her high profile job as a news anchor in the past, is not a bad development from Barve’s standpoint. She poses the biggest threat to Raskin, whom some consider as the frontrunner.

The Maryland delegate already has solid backing of Indian American voters. If he can consolidate the support among the largely Democratic district’s South Asian and Asian American groups, Barve’s path to the Capitol Hill will become a lot smoother.

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