Updated Jul 7, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Raskin passes on run for Maryland Senate seat

Rep. Jamie Raskin waves while serving as grand marshal of the Takoma Park 4th of July Parade. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said Friday he will run for re-election to his House seat in 2024 rather than running to succeed retiring Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.).

Why it matters: The high-profile ranking member of the House Oversight Committee and former Jan. 6 committee member would have been an instant frontrunner for the seat.

  • His decision to forgo a run clears the way for several other major candidates in a crowded Democratic primary.

Driving the news: In a lengthy statement released Friday evening, Raskin said running for re-election is the “best way for me to make the greatest difference in American politics in 2024.”

  • Raskin told Axios in May, coming off of months of treatment for cancer that had just gone into remission, that he was an "absolute tossup" on a Senate run, citing his work on the Oversight Committee as a key factor.
  • "I have a different and more urgent calling right now and I cannot walk away from the center of this fight in the people’s House and in the country," he said on Friday.

The intrigue: Raskin said in the statement on Friday he is "pretty sure" he would have run for Senate in "normal times."

  • "But these are not normal times and we are still in the fight of our lives for democratic institutions, freedom and basic social progress in America[.]"

The state of play: That leaves several other prominent Democratic candidates currently vying for the heavily blue seat.

  • Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks' campaign said Friday it raised $1.73 million in the seven weeks since launching.
  • There's also Rep. David Trone (D-Md.), a swing-district member whose fortune from co-founding Total Wine & More could make him a formidable self-funder.
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