Sen. Cardin Says Retiring Next Year Is ‘The Right Time’

He has served in elected office for 58 years.

Washington DC (KM) When he retires next year, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin (D) says he will have served 58 years in elected office. That includes his time in the Maryland House of Delegates, and his terms in the US House of Representatives and in the US Senate.

“It’s been the honor of his life,” he says. “But I need to recognize that the decision I make today is really an eight-year decision: two years of  running for re-election to the United States Senate; and then a six-year term thereafter. And I will be 87 years of age at the end of that term.”

Cardin is currently 79 years of age.

He announced last week that he will not be seeking another six-year term in the Senate in 2024. .

Following that announcement, some Democrats have announced they will be running for Cardin’s seat in 2024, including 6th District Representative David Trone.

Senator Cardin says he’s  accomplished a lot  during his  time in elected office. “Pension reform; able to get that done, Democrats and Republicans working together. What I’ve done for small business, particularly during COVID; being able to be the leader to make sure that they have the help that they need,” he says

Cardin also says he’s done a lot to protect Maryland’s famous waterway, the Chesapeake Bay. “We’re preserved the Bay programs during administrations that wanted to zero it out, ” he says. “We expanded the program. I was able to get  new funding adopted for the Chesapeake Bay Program.”

In the news, there are often stories about extreme partisanship on Capitol Hill, where Democrats and Republicans refused to work with each other. But Senator Cardin says he was able to work across party lines. “There are many Democrats and Republicans who work together in the Senate. Is it too partisan? Absolutely. Are our leaders too partisan? Absolutely. I would like to see less partisanship and more collaboration. . But I am proud of what I’ve been able to do, and many other members of the Senate are able to do  working across party lines,” he says.

After he leaves the Senate, Cardin says he wants  to continue to serve in some capacity. “It just will not be as a United State Senator. It won’t be as an elected official. But there will be other ways,”: he says. “It will give me a little more freedom on my calendar so I can have dinner at a reasonable time with my wife. That will be a change and it’s something I’m looking forward to.”

Cardin was elected US Senator in 2006. He replaced Paul Sarbanes who had been US Senator from Maryland since 1977.

By Kevin McManus