Top Maryland county leader Alsobrooks running for US Senate

May 9, 2023, 8:32 AM

FILE - Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, center, listens during a bill hearing on...

FILE - Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, center, listens during a bill hearing on a measure to increase funding for school construction in Maryland, on Jan. 23, 2020, in Annapolis, Md. Alsobrooks announced Tuesday, May 9, 2023, that she will run for the Senate seat that is opening with the retirement of Sen. Ben Cardin. (AP Photo/Brian Witte, File)

(AP Photo/Brian Witte, File)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Angela Alsobrooks, the chief executive of Maryland’s Prince George’s County, announced Tuesday she will run for the U.S. Senate seat that is opening with the retirement of Sen. Ben Cardin.

Alsobrooks, a Black Democrat, joins a growing field of candidates since the longtime Maryland official announced he would not seek reelection after three Senate terms last week.

“There aren’t enough people in the US Senate who live like, think like and look like the people they’re supposed to represent,” Alsobrooks wrote on Twitter in announcing her Senate bid. “My Great-Grandma told me, ‘if you don’t like something, go farther and do better.’ I’m proud to say I’m running for the Senate. Let’s go farther together.”

Prince George’s County, which is in the suburbs of the nation’s capital, is Maryland’s second-largest jurisdiction with a population of nearly 1 million. The county, which is heavily Democratic, has long been known as one of the wealthiest Black jurisdictions in the country.

There are currently no Black women U.S. senators, and Maryland does not have a woman in its entire congressional delegation.

Maryland’s diversity has been growing in recent years. Less than half of the state’s population identifies as white, according to 2020 U.S. Census data.

Alsobrooks was elected the county’s chief executive in 2018 as the first woman to hold the position after serving two terms as the county’s state’s attorney. While in office, she has focused on creating jobs, investing in education and expanding access to health care, mental health and addiction treatment.

Cardin’s announcement last week that he plans to retire at the end of his third term has triggered what is likely to be a competitive primary to replace him in the blue-leaning state for a rarely open Senate seat.

U.S. Rep. David Trone, a Democrat who is the wealthy founder of Total Wine & More, announced his campaign last week. Trone spent more than $12 million of his own money on his House race last year.

Montgomery County council member Will Jawando, a Democrat, has announced he is running as well. Jawando served in former President Barack Obama’s administration as associate director of public engagement and as an adviser to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Activist Jerome Segal announced earlier this week he is running.

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat, also is considering running.

The winner of the Democratic primary will be a heavy favorite to win the seat in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1. Maryland has not elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate since 1980. The state’s eight-member House delegation has only one Republican.

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Top Maryland county leader Alsobrooks running for US Senate