(CNN) — Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin announced Monday that he will not seek reelection in 2024, likely setting up a competitive primary in the Democratic stronghold state.
“It is time and when this term ends it will be my last years as an elected official, I will not seek reelection,” Cardin said in a video.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised Cardin in a statement and expressed confidence that Democrats will hold onto the Senate seat.
“Ben has been instrumental in building and maintaining a strong Maryland Democratic party, and with his help, I am confident Democrats will retain his seat,” Schumer said.
In a statement released with his video, Cardin, 79, reflected on his time in Congress and the importance of “civility.”
“I am an optimist but also a realist. I was taught that it’s OK to compromise — don’t ever compromise your principles — but find a path to get things done. Inspire trust in those around you. Keep your word and, again, listen. That’s civility and it has been central to all I have done over these many years of elected office,” Cardin said.
Cardin serves as the chair of the Senate Small Business Committee and is the second-ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
Cardin was first elected to the Senate in 2006, and before that represented Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District from 1987 until he joined the Senate.
The Maryland Democrat has a reputation as a low-key lawmaker who worked on the nuts and bolts of legislation.
During his time in the Senate, Cardin helped craft the Magnitsky Act, which allowed the US to sanction Russian individuals for human rights abuses.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Cardin helped create legislation to provide loans for small businesses.
He was also recently tapped by Schumer to temporarily replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary committee, but Republicans blocked that move in an effort to prevent the confirmation of Biden judicial nominees. Feinstein has been away from Washington as she recovers from shingles.
This story has been updated with additional information.
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