Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) announced Thursday he will run for the U.S. Senate seat after incumbent Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) revealed that he would not seek reelection in 2024.
“I’m running for Senate because the clock is ticking,” Trone says in his Senate run announcement video, citing issues such as drug overdoses, mental illness, and the high incarceration rate of African American men in the United States as issues he aims to tackle.
“Is any of this acceptable to you? To anyone? Not to me,” Trone says, decrying what he refers to as an “unfair criminal justice system.”
Trone and his brother Robert founded the successful Total Wine & More liquor store chain in the early 2000s. For his House race last year, Trone spent more than $12 million of his own money.
“David’s never taken a dime from PACs or lobbyists,” the video claims.
It’s too soon to say how much he would spend on a Senate race, Trone said, but he stressed that he’s glad to have access to his own funding—as it means he does not have to take money from political action committees, corporations or lobbyists.
“And the whole key in that is you make your own decisions,” Trone said. “You can do what’s right for the people of Maryland and not be influenced by anybody.”
“Ben Cardin was a great U.S. senator, and we’re looking forward to following in his huge shoes,” Trone said. “But we’ve got a lot of challenges that are facing Maryland, and we’ve got to focus on those challenges, and first and foremost, it’s the addiction crisis.”
Cardin is a veteran of Maryland politics. He became a Senator in 2006 after spending 20 years in the U.S. House, representing a large part of Baltimore and several nearby suburbs.
Trone is the second candidate to announce his run to replace the 79-year-old Cardin, who said on Monday that he would not seek reelection. Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando, also a Democrat, announced his campaign on Tuesday.
Jawando previously served in President Obama’s administration as associate director of public engagement and as an adviser to secretary of education, Arne Duncan.
Trone is currently serving his third term representing Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, which includes the northern suburbs of Washington, D.C., after winning nearly 55 percent of the vote in the state’s most competitive House district in November.
“I’m confident there will be another Democrat that steps up to bring that same willingness to be present, show up everywhere, never leave western Maryland behind … and keep the seat,” Trone said.
Other Democrats rumored to be preparing to announce their bid for Cardin’s seat include Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Prince George’s County Executive, Angela Alsobrooks.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.