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Midterms May Put Md. Lawmakers Front-And-Center

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By Manuel Quinones of Capitol News Connection.

The midterm elections may bring a power struggle within Congressional Democrats that could affect two prominent Maryland lawmakers.

Experts say current Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is seen as a logical choice to lead House Democrats were Speaker Nancy Pelosi to step down or retire.

"We're going to be expecting the American people to say, 'Let us move forward together,'" Hoyer says.

But Josh Kraushaar with the National Journal says much of Hoyer's support came from moderate Democrats.

"A lot of the base Hoyer relied on in his own conference is not there. They suffered the worst defeats of any type of Democrats in this wave election," Kraushaar says.

That leaves the opening for a more liberal member to take over. Chris Van Hollen from right outside Washington has also been a rising star. This year he was in charge of getting Democrats elected to the House.

"It doesn't look like this is going to help his resume at all," Kraushaar says.

The election outcomes will probably stall his rise in party leadership.

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