Longtime Democratic Senator Ben Cardin Will Not Run For Reelection

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Democratic Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin will not seek a fourth term in the upper chamber, he told The Baltimore Sun Monday.

“It’s time,” Cardin said in an interview with his hometown paper. “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.”

Retirement rumors began to heat up for the 79-year-old after he raised less than $15,000 in the first quarter of 2023, more than $300,000 less than his total at the same point in the 2018 election cycle. Cardin has served in Congress since 1987, and the Senate since 2007. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sens. Rand Paul, Ben Cardin Demand Oversight Of Small Business Grant Program)

Cardin is the fifth senator, and third Democrat to retire or resign ahead of the 2024 election cycle, joining Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Dianne Feinstein of California. Indiana Republican Mike Braun is leaving the Senate to run for governor, while Republican Ben Sasse of Nebraska resigned in January to run the University of Florida.

Reps. Jamie Raskin and David Trone, and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks are reportedly interested in the seat on the Democratic side. Former Republican Gov. Larry Hogan declined to run against incumbent Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen in 2022 as he considered a presidential bid, but decided against running for the Oval Office. Maryland has not elected a Republican senator since 1980.

Cardin did not endorse a successor in the interview.

“I know that people are interested. Let’s see who is prepared to do it. I am extremely confident we will hold the seat,” he said.

The senator later released a YouTube video in which he and his wife outlined his career accomplishments. Cardin noted legislation on international human rights, environmentalism, and constituent services.

“Thank you Marylanders. Thank you for giving me the opportunity in my life to represent you in the U.S. Senate. I’ve given my heart and soul to trying to do my best, and I thank you for giving me that opportunity,” he said.