MARYLAND (DC News Now) — U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin said Monday that he will make a decision next month on whether he’s running for the Senate in 2024 but that it would be difficult to give up his influence in the House.
Rasking, D-Maryland, who is recovering from grueling chemotherapy treatments for cancer, said he has a tough decision to make.
“I’m doing my due diligence on it right now,” Raskin told DC News Now in an extensive interview.
Raskin said that a run for the Maryland Senate seat being vacated after 2024 by retiring incumbent Democrat Ben Cardin is alluring and would be a logical move given his experience in the House of Representatives.
But he’s also worried that he would be giving up his influential role in his current branch of Congress.
“I was just elected by the House caucus to be the lead Democrat on the Oversight committee,” Raskin said. “I’m the ranking member there so if we win the House back, I would be the chair of the oversight committee.”
But there’s the chance to also serve in the Senate were he to win in an already crowded field of contenders.
“On the other hand, I’m getting tremendous encouragement, from a lot of people across the state to check out the Senate race and to think about what that would mean,” he said.
Raskin said he’s been “speaking to a number of the U.S. Senators that I know and trying to analyze what my role would be there,” he said. “I’m really just trying to figure out where I’d be most effective for the people of Maryland.”
The likes of fellow Democrats like U.S. Rep. David Trone, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, and Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando have all declared their candidacies. Trone is expected to spend millions of his own money and has already been up around the state since his announcement earlier this month.
The seat is considered a safe bet for Democrats to win given the party’s overwhelming voter advantage and that former Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has said he’s not interested in the seat.
Still, Raskin said his health considering his cancer treatments for B-cell lymphoma won’t hinder him from running. Doctors, he said, have given him the green light as long as he gets rest during a campaign.
But Larry Sabato, the founder, and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said Raskin’s health should factor into any decision he makes.
“Even his friends are privately saying they hope he doesn’t run,” Sabato said. “They want him to maintain his position in the House. He’s already got a lot of influence there. And he’s well-liked. And he’s got this burden of the cancer treatments.”
0It’s a conundrum that Raskin said he is wrestling with. But he reportedly has a war chest of more than $3 million to work with if he were to run.
“I’m really just trying to figure out where I would be most effective for the people of Maryland and where I would be most effective in defending Democratic values,” Raskin said.