Maryland Democratic Rep. David Trone launched his Senate campaign Thursday for retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin’s seat.
Trone, a wealthy businessman, enters the Democratic primary after Cardin announced on Monday that he will not be seeking reelection, he said via a video on Twitter. The businessman mentioned in the campaign video the overdose crisis, suicide from mental illness and criminal justice reform while drawing on his experience in Congress.
“In Congress, I’ve successfully fought to help people struggling with substance use disorder, mental health and an unfair criminal justice system,” Trone said in the video. “By bringing people together, I’d like to think I’ve made headway, but it’s not enough. I know I won’t be the establishment choice, but hey, why start now? I’ve always been about representing you, not them.”
Trone anticipated a Cardin retirement for months, and already had a staffed-up campaign ahead of the senator’s retirement announcement, according to Politico. The congressman is the second Democrat to jump into the race following Montgomery County Council Member Will Jawando, and could face several others in a crowded primary field, including Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Rep. Jamie Raskin.
“I’m a progressive through and through,” Trone told Politico ahead of his launch, “but at the same time, you can be a progressive, and you can work with folks that are on the other side of the aisle to accomplish things.”
Trone, owner of the biggest independent liquor store in the country, Total Wine & More, first won election to the House in 2018 , according to Politico. He has spent millions of his own money in his congressional races, and intends to do the same in 2024 Senate contest. “It’ll take significant resources,” Trone told Politico.
Republicans have tried to court former Gov. Larry Hogan as a potential GOP candidate for the seat, but the former governor said Tuesday that he isn’t interested. A Republican hasn’t been elected to the Senate in Maryland since the 1980s in a state that’s becoming increasingly blue.
“As more and more House Democrats forgo running for [reelection], the path to growing the Republican majority becomes increasingly clear. Democrats like David Trone are racing for the exits out of this extreme House minority,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Delanie Bomar said in a statement.
Trone didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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