Dear Friends,

I love Maryland.

I love the people of Maryland and I love everything about our state from the beaches to the mountains, the cities and neighborhoods in between, and the rich history of the iconic Chesapeake Bay. It’s been the honor of my life to represent the people of Maryland in the General Assembly, as Speaker of the House of Delegates, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and now in the United States Senate.

You have been an important part of this journey, and I wanted to write you today to express my utmost thanks for your support through 36 primary and general elections over the course of more than 56 years. Working together, we never lost a single one.

Your encouragement, good counsel and constructive feedback have kept this lifelong Democrat energized and moving forward during whatever successes and challenges came before us.

From an early age, my family and my faith instilled in me the spirit of helping our community and that we all have a responsibility to make the world around us a better place. These values have always been present in our home and have driven my years of public service to Maryland and the nation.

For me, the essential ingredients of effective public service are integrity and civility. I have always tried to listen to people, understand their problems and then work with them to find a solution.

As you know, I am an optimist but also a realist. I was taught that it’s okay 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. It is how I was able to pass the groundbreaking Magnitsky sanctions, guaranteed dental care for children nationwide and so many more accomplishments, each of which make me proud to have dedicated my professional life to public service.

I thank my family for their support and love, and recognize the many sacrifices they have endured as we traveled this path together. Many thanks go to my Team Maryland colleagues; it is a privilege to serve with the single-most cohesive and coordinated congressional delegation there is. We accomplish more for Maryland because we work together. My profound thanks also to the most dedicated staff in all of Congress.

It is with the support of my family that I want to let you know that I have run my last election and will not be on the ballot in 2024.

Let me be clear: I am not done yet. There still is much work ahead. During the next two years, I will continue to travel around the state, listening to Marylanders and responding to their needs. I expect to continue hearing from you by phone, emails or text about what you are doing and what we could be doing together. I promise you that I plan to make the most of every moment left in office.

My top priorities include continuing our progress for the Chesapeake Bay, helping the people of Baltimore City deal with the challenges they face, and permanently expanding opportunities for telehealth, mental and behavioral health. As Small Business Chair, I will continue to work on behalf of small businesses in Maryland and across the country who still face a tough economic climate. We need to keep building up the tools available to help our small businesses, especially women-owned, veteran-owned, minority owned and underserved entrepreneurs.

We also need to work together to ensure Democrats maintain control of this Senate seat and expand our majority, while taking back the House of Representatives. I plan to work in every way possible to ensure we re-elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris because they have done right by this country, bringing us back from the fiscal, social and health care crises exacerbated, if not created, by the previous administration. 

For more details on my decision, I hope you will watch this video from Myrna and me that we made especially for you. Click here to watch.

Thank you, again, from the bottom of my heart. Knowing that I am working for you and all the people of this great state of Maryland are what have made this worth doing day after day and year after year.  

Sincerely, your friend …

Ben Cardin

About Ben

A third-generation Marylander, Ben Cardin has dedicated his life to public service. A strident defender of the Chesapeake Bay, he fights to strengthen our middle class and improve our economy. He has held the line against Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare and voted against the Trump tax cuts that gave permanent tax cuts to big corporations. He is taking on the NRA to pass a national ban on assault weapons, bump stocks and require universal background checks for all gun purchases. As the lead Democrat on the Senate Small Business Committee, he works to empower minority-, women- and veteran-owned small businesses. He is fighting to safeguard civil rights and banish discrimination. He is a leader in protecting Planned Parenthood, and defending women's rights and human rights at home and globally. He is a vocal defender of federal workers and is working to ensure a quality higher education is in reach.

“We face challenges in Maryland we couldn’t have imagined a few years ago. I’m working every day to stand up for our values and represent you.”