By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Marylanders will put a new face in the U.S. Senate in the 2016 election year. Barbara Mikulski’s pending retirement means a race with no incumbent.

Pat Warren reports, so far, two candidates are racking up support in their campaigns to replace her.

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Senator Barbara Mikulski’s heart-to-heart with WJZ’s Vic Carter, which aired in a special report last week, covered a lot of ground, but she hasn’t picked a favorite to replace her.

“Campaigning is great. I love the fun and fire,” she said.

Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards are the announced candidates in the race to replace Barbara Mikulski–both are congressional Democrats.

Van Hollen was first elected in 2002. He represents District 8, which includes Montgomery and parts of Frederick and Carroll counties.

Edwards was elected in 2008, representing District 4, which includes Prince George’s and parts of Anne Arundel County.

This will be the first statewide race for each of them.

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“Of the candidates in the race for United States Senate, I am wholeheartedly behind Chris Van Hollen,” said Del. Maggie McIntosh, (D) Baltimore.

Baltimore’s Maggie McIntosh, elected to the House of Delegates in 1992, is a former Mikulski campaign manager and worked with Van Hollen when he was a state delegate.

“I have a deep commitment to Baltimore, and I’m really thankful to Delegate McIntosh,” Van Hollen said.

The first legislative endorsement in the race adds to a growing list of support for Van Hollen.

In an interview with WJZ, Edwards put less emphasis on endorsements.

“And what I want the folks here in Baltimore to know is what the people in my congressional district have come to know about me, and that is I’m going to go out there every single day and fight for you,” said Edwards.

There’s still speculation that Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings could enter the race.

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The primary election is April 26.