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June 18, 2008

MD’s 1st Black Woman to Congress

Democratic lawyer and nonprofit executive Donna Edwards won a special election Tuesday to become Maryland’s first black woman elected to Congress. Edwards beat Republican Peter James in the race to serve the remainder of former U.S. Rep. Albert Wynn’s term in Maryland’s 4th District. Wynn left office May 31 to take a lobbying job after losing to Edwards in February’s Democratic primary by 22 percentage points. Edwards, 49, will hold the seat for the rest of the year. James also won his party’s primary in February, meaning he and Edwards will face each other again in November’s general election. Once she is sworn in, Democrats will have 236 seats in the House to Republicans’ 199. The victory also gives Edwards a chance to establish some seniority if she is elected to a full term. A half-year spent in the House could give her a slight edge over other incoming freshmen, such as better committee assignments. source

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