Maryland 8th Congressional District candidate Kathleen Matthews speaks to the Rockville/Midcounty Democratic Breakfast Club on Jan. 18 in Rockville, Md. (Kate Patterson for The Washington Post)

Former Marriott executive and news anchor Kathleen Matthews, who is one of several Democrats vying to U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, has endorsed the lawmaker over Rep. Donna Edwards in Maryland’s heated U.S. Senate race.

"As a progressive Democrat and advocate for women and working families, Chris has represented my views on many important issues," Matthews said in a statement.

Matthews notes that Van Hollen has been her congressman for 13 years and is known for strong constituent service in the district she hopes to represent.

But Matthews, like Edwards, has argued in her campaign that more women are needed in Congress. Both she and Edwards are backed by Emily's List, an influential group that supports female Democratic candidates who favor abortion access.

Van Hollen and Edwards are competing in the April 26 Democratic primary for the nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D).

In addition to Matthews, candidates in the Democratic primary to succeed Van Hollen are nonprofit executive David Anderson, Del. Kumar Barve (D-Montgomery), former Obama aide Will Jawando, state Sen. Jamie B. Raskin, former State Department official Joel Rubin, Del. Ana Sol-Gutierrez (D-Montgomery) and Total Wine retailer David Trone.

Barve, Raskin, and Sol-Gutierrez all endorsed Van Hollen last year. Trone is also supporting Van Hollen.