After an 18-year-long political journey, Congressman John Sarbanes of Maryland’s Third District has publicly announced his decision not to seek re-election in 2024.
Sarbanes, who has represented Maryland’s traditionally blue 3rd congressional district since 2007, said in a statement he wants to return to working in different areas of public service, like nonprofits and volunteer work.
“For some time now, I have found myself drawn back to that kind of work — wanting to explore the many opportunities to serve that exist outside of elected office,” he said.
Sarbanes said he is committed to seeing out the remainder of 14 months in office, but wanted to make the announcement “specifically for the benefit of candidates interested in running for my seat in next year’s election.”
Sarbanes’ father, former Sen. Paul Sarbanes, represented Maryland for six years as a U.S. representative and 30 years in the Senate before retiring in 2006. He died in 2020.
John Sarbanes reflects on his career
The Congressman reflected on his illustrious career which he cherishes as “among the most rewarding years” of his professional life.
He delineated his early dalliances with community service through non-profits and volunteering, which according to him, are “powerful forms of public service” that he is now keen to revisit.
Although the decision signifies a pivotal shift, Sarbanes reassured that his dedication remains undeterred for the remainder of his term, during which he aspires to continue working on critical issues along with ensuring timely constituent service.
His tenure, as he reminisces, has been abundantly fruitful, particularly under the umbrella of the Democratic caucus. He expressed optimism for the party’s trajectory under the fresh leadership and commended the ongoing efforts to fortify democracy, specifically mentioning the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Representative Katherine Clark’s agreement to steer the Freedom to Vote Act in the forthcoming Congress was acknowledged as a positive stride, showcasing his enduring support towards bolstering democratic frameworks.
Sarbanes’ decision to step away emanates from a deeper calling towards community-centric work, a path he had traversed before his political sojourn. The Congressman’s narrative also highlighted the indelible influence of his late father, Senator Paul Sarbanes, and the unwavering support from the Greek-American community which played a seminal role in his political journey.
The intrinsic bond with Maryland’s Third District residents and his exemplary team were the linchpins of his successful tenure, he noted. His words resonated with gratitude for the numerous supporters who have been the wind beneath his wings, motivating him to aspire for the highest echelons of constituent service.
As Congressman Sarbanes pivots towards a new chapter, his focus remains unswayed on the pressing issues for the remaining fourteen months of the 118th Congress.
His parting message underscored an undying enthusiasm for community service, a realm he is excited to delve back into, showcasing a full-circle moment in a career replete with public service and unwavering dedication.