Maryland Democrat Sarbanes won’t seek reelection to House

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) announced Thursday he won’t seek reelection next year.

“[B]efore coming to Congress, I also found great reward in working with nonprofits, volunteering and otherwise contributing to my community,” Sarbanes said in a statement. “That too is a powerful form of public service. For some time now, I have found myself drawn back to that kind of work — wanting to explore the many opportunities to serve that exist outside of elected office.

“With that in mind, I have decided not to seek re-election in 2024. While I am making this announcement today — specifically for the benefit of candidates interested in running for my seat in next year’s election — I’m not going anywhere for the next fourteen months. That’s what’s left in my term and I’m committed to finishing strong.”

Sarbanes has represented Maryland’s third district since 2007, holding the former seat of current Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). The district contains Howard County, parts of Anne Arundel County and parts of Carroll County.

Sarbanes’s father was Paul Sarbanes, a former senator for Maryland who died in 2020. The elder Sarbanes introduced the first article of impeachment against President Nixon. Like his son, he also served in the House of Representatives before moving on to the Senate, where he held the record for the longest-serving Maryland senator for some time.

Sarbanes’s district is relatively safe for Democrats because he won his last two elections by around a 20 percent and 40 percent margin, respectively. Sarbanes serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

“Of course, I owe special thanks to the residents of Maryland’s Third District,” Sarbanes’s statement read. “At every turn they inspired me to pursue the highest standard of constituent service. Addressing their priorities from my position on the Energy and Commerce Committee — health care, the environment and so many other issues — has made me a much more knowledgeable and effective advocate and I will carry that skill set into continued work on behalf of the community.”

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