Montgomery County Council member Will Jawando announced Tuesday he is running in the 2024 election to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate, eyeing the seat being vacated by Democrat Sen. Ben Cardin.

Jawando, a Democrat, has served as an at-large Montgomery County council member since he was elected and sworn-in in 2018.

‘I’m running for the US Senate because I believe we can build a shared prosperity in Maryland that lifts everybody up and leaves no one behind. That would be really big,’ he said in a video statement announcing his candidacy on Tuesday.

He is a civil rights attorney and activist, and previously served in the Obama administration as Associate Director of Public Engagement in the White House and as an advisor to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Jawando also wrote a memoir published last year entitled, ‘My Seven Black Fathers,’ which reflects on his mentorship and service to his community.

As an at-large Montgomery County Councilmember, Jawando pushed for legislation to reduce rent, build more affordable housing and take on racial injustice, he said in his video announcement.

‘There’s a Big Lie in America. But it’s not about Donald Trump or his delusions that he won the election — the real Big Lie, the one you feel every day, that pits neighbors against neighbors, it’s the one that says, ‘For me to do well, you have to do worse,’ that we can’t take care of each other, and still prosper, that if some people get ahead, everyone else has to be left behind,’ Jawando said in the video.

Jawando is the first to announce his candidacy for Maryland’s open U.S. Senate seat.

On Monday, Jawando thanked Cardin for his service to the people of Maryland. Cardin served in the U.S. Senate since 2007 and had been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the previous 20 years. Before serving in Washington, Cardin was in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1967 until 1987.

‘There are few people in Maryland, let alone the United States Senate, that have delivered more for working families than Senator Cardin,’ Jawando wrote on Facebook. ‘His tireless work has had a positive impact on our community and will be felt for generations of Marylanders for years to come.’

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