Democratic Senator Announces Retirement, Setting Up Replacement Battle
Liberal Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland announced his retirement Monday after serving three terms, opening a rare vacancy in the Senate ahead of the 2024 election.
The 79-year-old said in a video that he will not seek re-election.
“It is time,” Cardin said. “When this term ends, it will be last years as an elected official. I will not seek re-election.
“Thank you, Marylanders. Thank you for giving me the opportunity of my life to represent you in the United States Senate.”
His retirement is likely to create a highly competitive Democratic primary to replace him as the party faces a tough electoral map to maintain its slim majority nationally next year.
Cardin has served in the Senate since 2006, when he won a seat to replace retiring Democrat Paul Sarbanes.
Before that, he was a congressman who represented a large part of Baltimore and several nearby suburbs, winning his first U.S. House race in 1986.
During his tenure in the Senate, Cardin has been a leader on gun control, government health care and taxation.
The senator has been a leading advocate for clean water and the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary, which flows in his home state.
He helped write the Paycheck Protection Program that helped small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and response.
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