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Image: Ben Cardin
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., during the Senate Finance Committee hearing on April 19, 2023, on Capitol Hill.Mariam Zuhaib / AP file

Cardin: Big primary to replace Maryland senator must stay positive

The retiring Maryland Democrat spoke about the likely crowded race to replace him after he announced that he will retire in 2024.


Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) wants his potential Democratic successors to keep the race to replace him civil.

Cardin on Monday announced his intention to retire after more than five decades in Congress, paving the way for a competitive Democratic primary for his seat for the first time in decades. Since his announcement, two prominent Democrats have already launched campaigns: Wealthy Rep. David Trone and Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando. More candidates are expected to announce in the near future.

On Thursday, Cardin discussed the upcoming primary on Meet the Press NOW, saying “I would hope that it will be positive. It is very important that Maryland maintain its Democratic member in the United States Senate for the balance of power.”

“I hope those that are running recognize that the real prize is November, not just the primary election," Cardin continued. Whoever wins the Democratic primary, at the moment scheduled for May 14 of next year, will ultimately compete against the Republican nominee in the 2024 general election.

Despite this warning, Cardin said he doesn't harbor early concerns about the campaign getting nasty. “The names that have been floated, I think that they’re all sensitive to that,” the senator added.