House or Senate Run? Top Dem Makes the Call

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin is going for his 5th term in the House of Representatives
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2023 9:30 AM CDT
House or Senate Run? Top Dem Makes the Call
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks to reporters on June 20 on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough, FILE)

Congressman Jamie Raskin has launched his latest election campaign—but it's not for US Senate, as some had speculated. WBFF reports that the Democrat, who represents Maryland's 8th District in the US House of Representatives, announced Friday he'll be running for his fifth term in the House, calling his move "the best way for me to make the greatest difference in American politics in 2024 and beyond," per a statement. Raskin had been mentioned as a possible replacement for outgoing Sen. Ben Cardin, who said in May that he wouldn't seek reelection.

It wasn't speculation that came out of nowhere. "I've written a speech announcing my reelection campaign for the House, I've written a speech declaring my candidacy for the Senate," Raskin told NPR last month. "I figure out my situation best through the process of writing." Raskin has held several key roles as a congressman, including serving as the lead House manager during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, as a member of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and as the ranking member on the House Oversight panel.

NPR notes Raskin "knew he would be giving up a lot of groundwork in the House if he vacated his seat." "I have had friends on Capitol Hill tell me that I would be crazy to think about leaving," he recently told the outlet. "And then there are people who say to me that the US Senate seats open up once every quarter century, and I would be crazy not to run." And indeed, he notes in his statement that the prospect of becoming a senator is an "alluring" one, and that "if these were normal times, I am pretty sure that this is what I would be announcing now."

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But "these are not normal times," he writes. "I have a different and more urgent calling right now and I cannot walk away from the center of this fight in the people's House and in the country. We are still in the fight of our lives, the fight for democracy and freedom and for the survival of humanity." Despite his decision, he notes that he's "profoundly grateful to all those who have provided encouragement, wise advice & insight." (Raskin has also made headlines since late last year during his battle with cancer, which he announced a couple of months ago was in remission.)

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