Proven. Effective. Democrat.
Marylanders know Chris Van Hollen as a tireless fighter for the people of our state who has delivered real results for working families. He has been a proven leader who is not afraid to stand up to powerful special interests to advance the public interest and even the playing field for everyday Americans.
The Baltimore Sun has described him as “highly effective”. And the Washington Post called him “a gifted legislator” and someone who has “consistently earned a seat at the table where consensus might be forged.”
As our Senator, Chris has been fighting for every citizen who’s working harder than ever, but still feels stuck in place. He’s been a champion in the effort to build a more inclusive economy that works for all Americans, not just the wealthiest few — working to create more good paying jobs, access to affordable childcare, a good education, lower health care and prescription drug costs, and dignity in retirement.
Chris has been a key leader in the fight for social justice, racial equity, comprehensive immigration reform, and gun safety. As the author of the original DISCLOSE Act to end secret money in our elections, he has been at the vanguard of our mission to protect our democracy, safeguard voting rights, and end big money in politics.
Chris’s tenacity and effectiveness are highlighted in the recently passed Infrastructure and Build Back Better bills, which include many of the initiatives he has championed for years on everything from education and workforce training, to protecting our Chesapeake Bay and fighting the historic challenge of climate change, to providing access to more affordable child care and housing, and giving returning citizens a second chance.
Getting things done for the people of Maryland – and working families everywhere – is the reason Chris first ran for public office and that’s exactly what he has always done.
Before his election to the Senate, Chris spent over a decade in the House of Representatives where he became a Democratic leader and played a key role in the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Wall Street Reform law, and the Economic Recovery Act that helped rebuild our shattered economy.
As Ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee when the Tea Party Republicans took over the House, Chris led the fight to protect Medicare and Social Security from GOP budget attacks and protect vital investments in education, transportation, medical research and programs for the most needy.
Chris also served in the Maryland state legislature where he first earned his reputation as a champion for progressive causes and a talented legislator who was not afraid to take on powerful special interests. He won his first election to the Maryland House of Delegates as part of the ‘Choice Team,’ which unseated an incumbent opposed to women’s reproductive rights.
Time Magazine wrote of Chris’s service in the state legislature that he was “a hero to environmentalists, education groups and gun control advocates.” The Washington Post dubbed him “one of the most accomplished members of the General Assembly.”
Chris is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the Kennedy School of Government. He earned his law degree in Georgetown University’s evening program while working as a Congressional aide and aide to former Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer.
Chris and his wife, Katherine (and their labrador retriever, Sashi) live in Kensington where they raised their three children, Anna, Nicholas and Alexander.