By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin alongside his wife, Myrna, announced that he will not be running for re-election in 2024 on May 1.
“I love Maryland. I love the people of Maryland and I love everything about our state,” said Cardin, in a video recorded statement released to the public. “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 year and half, I will continue to travel around the state, listening to Marylanders and responding to their needs.”
Though he’s retiring, Cardin said he still has work to do throughout his term and will continue efforts in the Chesapeake Bay, supporting Baltimore City and expanding opportunities for behavioral health, mental and telehealth.
After working in politics for over 56 years, Cardin and his wife said “it’s time.”
“Senator Cardin has dedicated more than five decades to helping Marylanders from the state house – as the youngest Speaker in our state’s history at the time – to the halls of Congress, now as Chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee,” said Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), in a statement sent out to members of the press. “I am certain that Senator Cardin will continue to work each and every day of this term to move forward on our shared priorities, and I’ll continue to work with him and Team Maryland on these efforts.”
Cardin was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1966. Cardin was a congressional representative of Maryland’s third district from 1987-2006 and was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.
Many Maryland legislators including Gov. Wes Moore, immediately reacted to Cardin’s decision to depart from Congress.
“For over 50 years, Maryland has benefited from his tireless work across our communities, this state, and this nation,” said in a statement issued by Gov. Moore. “As Senator, his work to enact the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities led to significant advances in research that we saw all too necessary during the COVID pandemic. Our friendship and my admiration for you will last long after your time in elected office, because the commitment that you made to our state is lasting. Job well done.”
Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.-07) also spoke to Cardin’s character and hard work.
“Ben Cardin is a model public servant, principled leader, and citizen. I have been honored to call him my friend and colleague for over four decades,” said Mfume, in a statement released the same day as Cardin’s announcement. “He deserves our heartiest congratulations today and every day for the 57 years of untiring work on behalf of Marylanders. My sincere best wishes to he and Myrna for the example of family that they have set together.”
Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-Md.-04) wished the Cardin’s well in their future endeavors.
“Today, Maryland must give a big thank you to Senator Ben Cardin. From the Maryland State House to Capitol Hill, Senator Cardin has been a thoughtful, hardworking, and honest representative for all Marylanders,” said Rep. Glenn Ivey’s statement (D-Md.-04). “I extend my heartfelt thanks to you for your leadership and service. May you and your wife Myrna enjoy time together and success in your future endeavors.”
The Maryland Democratic Party also issued a statement on his departure.
“We applaud our senior Senator for his tremendous leadership and the admirable way he carries himself on behalf of all Marylanders,” wrote the Maryland Dems. “Senator Cardin has earned the right to set his course and determine his next chapter. He has worked tirelessly for almost 60 years for our state. Ben Cardin is nothing short of a Maryland legend, and we will miss his leadership dearly.”