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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.
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