Kathleen Matthews in April 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Rebecca D'Angelo for The Washington Post)

Emily’s List, the powerful national money machine that supports Democratic women who favor abortion rights, endorsed Maryland 8th Congressional District candidate Kathleen Matthews on Thursday.

In an announcement, the PAC said Matthews, a former WJLA anchor, has “used her 30-year career as a journalist to tell stories focused on the importance of equal rights for women, access to affordable health care, good jobs, and education.” It cited her work as host of the show “Working Woman,” which the group said “brought national attention to the realities hardworking women face.”

Matthews becomes one of nine House candidates recommended so far by Emily’s List. In March, it endorsed Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) in her U.S. Senate primary campaign against Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

The announcement is the latest sign that the race for the seat being vacated by Van Hollen is on its way to becoming one of the most expensive congressional contests in state history. With six months to go before the April Democratic primary, Matthews and state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery) have both raised about $1 million.

Emily’s List spent $44 million on candidates in the 2014 election cycle. Buoyed by interest in Hillary Clinton, the PAC has said it is on track to raise $60 million for 2016.

Women over 50 are a key voter group in the 8th, which runs through the heart of Montgomery County into portions of Carroll and Frederick counties.

Raskin quickly commented on the Emily’s List endorsement. In an e-mail, campaign manager Marshall Cohen said Raskin has fought successfully to strengthen laws against gender discrimination and protecting reproductive rights. He listed “the great women leaders” who have endorsed him, including Montgomery state Sens. Susan Lee and Karen Montgomery. Cohen said “Women for Jamie,” a group formed over the summer, has more than 550 members.

Matthews and Raskin are part of a field that also includes Dels. Kumar Barve and Ana Sol-Gutierrez, former Obama administration official Will Jawando, former State Department official Joel Rubin and education nonprofit leader David Anderson. Former Democrat Liz Matory is running as an independent.