Marriott executive and former television news anchor Kathleen Matthews moved closer to a candidacy for Maryland’s 8th District congressional seat Wednesday, as Marriott International announced her resignation from the senior communications post she’s held since 2006.
Matthews, 61, reportedly told friends in March that she was interested in running for the seat in the House of Representatives being vacated by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is vying to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D).
A letter sent to Marriott executives by president and chief executive Arne Sorenson on Wednesday said Matthews “has announced she will leave the company in June to seek a challenging new role in public service.”
Matthews did not return phone or e-mail messages Wednesday. Her spokesperson, veteran Democratic political consultant Anita Dunn, said she is leaving “to pursue other opportunities that will be very clear” in the next few weeks.
Matthews, who is the wife of MSNBC host Chris Matthews, has been working as Marriott International’s chief global communications and public affairs officer.
If she launches a candidacy, she would be the fifth Democratic contender to enter the 2016 primary race to represent Maryland’s 8th District.
Dels. Kumar Barve (D-Montgomery) and Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery), state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery) and former Obama White House aide Will Jawando are all running.
Dels. Ariana Kelly (D-Montgomery) and Jeff Waldstreicher (D-Montgomery) and former Montgomery County Council member Valerie Ervin are also said to be looking at the contest.
Businessman and former state senate candidate Frank Howard is so far the only Republican to publicly express interest in the race.