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Raskin decides not to run for Senate in Maryland

Law professor was lead prosecutor at Trump's second impeachment trial

Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin marches as grand marshal in the Takoma Park Fourth of July Parade. Raskin said Friday that he would run for reelection to the House rather than seek the state's open Senate seat.
Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin marches as grand marshal in the Takoma Park Fourth of July Parade. Raskin said Friday that he would run for reelection to the House rather than seek the state's open Senate seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Jamie Raskin has decided not to run for Maryland’s open Senate seat and instead will seek reelection to the House, where he hopes to become the chair of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. 

“At this moment, I believe the best way for me to make the greatest difference in American politics in 2024 and beyond is this: to run for reelection to the House of Representatives in Maryland’s extraordinary 8th District; and to mobilize thousands of Democracy Summer Fellows and raise millions of dollars and everyone’s spirit to fortify and build up Democratic majorities in the House and Senate,” Raskin said in a Friday evening statement.

Raskin’s decision means there will be one less Democrat running in an already crowded primary for the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin. Fellow Rep. David Trone, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando are all seeking the party’s nomination. No high-profile Republicans have launched campaigns. 

Raskin is the top Democrat on House Oversight and is poised to become the panel’s chair if Democrats win back control of the chamber in 2024. 

He was elected to the House in 2016 to represent the 8th District, just outside of Washington. He defeated Trone in a primary and went on to easily beat Republican Dan Cox, who was the party’s nominee for governor last year. Raskin has been easily reelected since. 

A constitutional law professor, Raskin has made oversight a central focus of his congressional career. He was the lead impeachment manager for Democrats during President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, which came weeks after Raskin’s son, Tommy, died by suicide. 

At the end of 2022, he announced he had been diagnosed with “a serious but curable form of cancer” called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and would begin treatment. Just days before Cardin announced his retirement, Raskin revealed his cancer was in remission after he had completed chemotherapy. He recently told NPR he wrote two speeches: one announcing that he would seek the Senate seat and another saying he would run again for the House. 

“I have had friends on Capitol Hill tell me that I would be crazy to think about leaving the House of Representatives,” he told NPR. “And then there are people who say to me that the U.S. Senate seats open up once every quarter century, and I would be crazy not to run for it at this point.”

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the Senate race as Solid Democratic, meaning the May 14 primary is likely to be the bigger contest next year.

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.

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