Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin won’t seek re-election next year

Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, announced that he would not seek reelection in the upcoming 2024 cycle on Monday.

Mr Cardin released a statement on his website, which declined to give a specific reason but noted his more than a half century in politics. First serving in the Maryland General Assembly, he was elected to Congress in 1986 and joined the Senate after being appointed to finish the term of Paul Sarbanes in 2007.

“I have run my last election and will not be on the ballot in 2024, but there is still much work to be done. During the next two years, I will continue to travel around the state, listening to Marylanders and responding to their needs. My top priorities include continuing our progress for the Chesapeake Bay, helping the people of Baltimore City deal with the challenges they face, and permanently expanding opportunities for telehealth, mental and behavioral health,” said the senator.

The news sets up a Democrat-versus-Democrat battle for his seat, as the state is reliably blue and has not elected a Republican to the Senate since the 1980s. The only Republican with a reasonable shot of winning Mr Cardin’s job is Larry Hogan, the former governor, who recently announced that he would not seek the GOP nomination for president after stoking months’ worth of speculation.

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