Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2024, setting the stage for a prospective contest for the seat, according to The Conservative Brief.
“I was taught that it’s okay to compromise — don’t ever compromise your principles — but find a path to get things done. Inspire trust in those around you. Keep your word and, again, listen,” Cardin said in a statement.
“You know, Myrna, it’s been the honor of my life to represent the people of Maryland first in the Maryland General Assembly, then as Speaker of the House, later as a member of the House of Representatives, and now as a United States Senator,” Cardin said.
“When this term ends, it will be my last year as an elected official. I will not seek re-election.”
The lawmaker went on to say that, “It’s time," and that he "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.”
According to Politico, the affable Marylander had been weighing his options for months as Democrats viewed his seat.
Since 2007, the 79-year-old Cardin has been a fixture in Maryland politics, serving in the statehouse, the House, and the Senate. He is the third Democratic senator to announce he will not seek reelection, joining Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Only Michigan among these three states is considered competitive.
Cardin's announcement will almost undoubtedly shock the congressional delegation and political apparatus of the Old Dominion.
Democrats from all walks of life will contemplate competing for a safe, close-to-Capitol-driving seat — one of the most desirable jobs in politics.
Angela Alsobrooks, the executive of Prince George's County, and Representatives Jamie Raskin and David Trone are rumored to be considering bids.
Cardin's vacancy could also present an opportunity for a candidate from the senator's hometown of Baltimore, the news source added.
“I salute my friend and our state’s senior Senator Ben Cardin on his extraordinary public service to Maryland and our country,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said in a statement Monday.
“It is a privilege to serve alongside him and in partnership every day for the people of our great state.”
National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesperson Tate Mitchell told Fox News that “Democrats are quickly realizing that the Senate won’t be any fun for them when Republicans retake the majority in 2024.”