Rumors are circulating across Maryland political circles that U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin is in his final term and will not seek reelection. He raised less than $30,000 in the last three months of 2022, and while he has over $1 million in his campaign account currently, political analysts and potential candidates are playing close attention to his next move.
In an interview, Cardin did not indicate that he plans to retire and said “If they raise money now, they can turn it over to me, can’t they,” regarding potential candidates.
Some of the potential candidates are Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Maryland Congressmen Jamie Raskin (D) and David Trone (D).
Alsobrooks is the first Black woman to serve as the Prince George’s County Executive and, if elected, would be the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Maryland. Alsobrooks was the youngest State’s Attorney ever elected in Prince George’s and won reelection last year with over 90% of the vote in the Democratic primary.
The barrier-breaking county executive was a vocal supporter of Governor Wes Moore, Comptroller Brooke Lierman and Attorney General Anthony Brown during their competitive primary elections. She said in a WJLA interview that she would consider a run if the seat was open.
Raskin is most known for his role in the January 6th investigations and is comparable to Senator Elizabeth Warren for his legal background and advocacy. He currently represents a district consisting entirely of central and southern Montgomery County and was recently given the top Democratic position on the Oversight Committee, a post previously held by Baltimore former Congressman Elijah Cummings , and would become the chair if and when Democrats retake the majority. Raskin is battling cancer currently and it is unknown if he is planning to seek the Senate seat.
Trone owns Total Wine and More, an alcohol retail business with over 240 stores and an annual profit upwards of $3 billion. Trone currently represents a district consisting of the Western Maryland panhandle, along with Frederick County and northern Montgomery County.
While Alsobrooks reported over $250,000 in her campaign account, that amount is designated for state and local races and only $2,800 can be transferred to a Senate account. Raskin has over $3 million in his campaign account currently, and Trone has self-financed his previous campaigns with tens of millions of dollars.
Both Alsobrooks and Trone have begun staffing up for a potential campaign, according to sources familiar with their planning.
When asked about the prospect of the race, U.S. Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-Maryland) said, “We’ve got a deep bench in Maryland. There’s a lot of people who could, I think, be strong candidates.”