Democrat Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) has announced that he is retiring and won’t seek reelection next year.
“It’s time,” the 79-year-old Maryland Democrat said.
“I always knew this election cycle would be the one I would be thinking about not running again, so it’s not something that hit me by surprise.
“I enjoy life. There are other things I can do.
“I know that people are interested.
“Let’s see who is prepared to do it.
“I am extremely confident we will hold the seat.”
“It’s just time to exhale,” his wife said.
“I’d just like to not have a schedule, a calendar.
“As Ben says, he can do anything.”
Maryland has not elected a Republican U.S. senator since Charles Mathias of Frederick in 1980.
But the state did elect Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to two terms.
Hogan has said he would not run for Senate but that was before Cardin made his announcement.
Hogan thought about running for president in 2024 but thought better of it.
I am proud of all I have done for Maryland. I have given my heart and soul to our great state, and I thank Marylanders for trusting me as your representative for all these years.
Thank you, Maryland.https://t.co/3SVbOSKn86
— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) May 1, 2023
Longtime Maryland U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin won’t seek re-election, creating rare Senate vacancy https://t.co/lVV0Pfmd1d
— The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) May 1, 2023
According to Time:
A Democratic Maryland source suspects that one reason for a delay has been Cardin’s involvement in an ongoing competition between the Maryland and Virginia congressional delegations to secure the new FBI headquarters.
One Maryland insider tells TIME that the race to replace Cardin could take shape quickly, with many of the potential candidates jumping in shortly after Cardin’s announcement.
Trone, who made a fortune building the Total Wine and More retail chain, has a history of self-funding his campaigns, potentially putting pressure on other candidates to get their fundraising started quickly.
Raskin defeated Trone in a primary for Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District after Van Hollen vacated that seat to replace Mikulski.
There also may be a Republican push to recruit former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to launch a candidacy. GOP establishment figures, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, attempted to convince Hogan to challenge Sen. Chris Van Hollen in 2022, but he declined.