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Democratic US Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland says he will not seek reelection in 2024

FILE - U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., speaks during a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on gun violence, June 8, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sarbanes will not seek reelection in 2024, choosing to depart his seat after 18 years in office, the nine-term Democrat announced Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland will not seek reelection in 2024, choosing to depart his seat after an 18-year run, the nine-term Democrat announced Thursday.

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.”

He called his time serving in U.S. Congress “a truly humbling opportunity to make a difference.”

In Maryland, Democrats hold seven of eight U.S. House seats, both Senate seats, as well as the offices of governor, secretary of state, attorney general and both chambers of the state legislature.

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.