MD Dem Senator Retiring

( – Fifty-six years after he first ran for public office, 17-year Democratic Senator from Maryland Ben Cardin has announced his upcoming retirement.

“It’s time,” Cardin told a Baltimore newspaper. The 79-year-old said he knew the 2024 election cycle was probably the time he’d decide not to run again.

A Republican operative had a more tart assessment. Tate Mitchell of the Republican Senatorial Committee said that Democrats are becoming aware that it “won’t be any fun” for them if and when the Republican party takes majority control of the Senate next year.

Democrats are losing some longtime Senators, including the oldest serving Senator, Dianne Feinstein of California. Feinstein announced earlier this year she won’t seek re-election. Maverick Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia is keeping mum about whether he will run for office again, leaving room for speculation and Senatorial campaigns from the left and the right. 

Maryland’s Cardin taped a video message with his wife, Myrna, as part of his retirement announcement. He said it had been an honor to represent Maryland citizens in a variety of public offices, including the state legislature, then as speaker of the statehouse before going on to a career as a U.S. Representative and then a U.S. Senator.

Cardin said he was “proud” of all the things he’s done for Maryland.

Cardin was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. He replaced Democrat Paul Sarbanes. Before his time in the Senate, Cardin was the U.S. Rep. for a district that included a large part of Baltimore and several suburbs.

His announcement prompted speculation that former state Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, may run to replace Cardin. 

Cardin governed from a liberal perspective on health care, retirement and social security, the environment, and fiscal policy. He is also known as a supporter of clean water initiatives and the protection of the enormous Chesapeake Bay watershed in his district. 

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