Muse, an African-American pastor who has served in the Maryland Senate since 2007, said he is running because he feels the country is on the wrong track. "The average person is suffering," he said.
He said he has had no dealings with Cardin, which he said demonstrates that the incumbent has not reached out to local leaders to assess the problems in the state.
"It's OK to have change. It's OK to have new ideas. It's OK to have new people," Muse said in an interview. "It's not taboo to say I'm going to challenge someone. It's not his seat, no more than my Senate seat is my seat."
Muse has been involved in several high-profile debates during his time in
Cardin won the 2006 Democratic primary, his first run for Senate, with 44 percent of the vote — finishing 18,588 votes ahead of former congressman and
So it is no coincidence that on the eve of Muse's announcement, the Cardin campaign released a video in which Prince George's County Executive
Muse, a 53-year-old Baltimore native, served one term in the House of Delegates from 1995 to 1999. In 2002 he ran an unsuccessful campaign for Prince George's County executive, losing to
Cardin did not address Muse's campaign directly on Thursday. In a statement, he said he would "take nothing for granted as I seek re-election" and that he hoped to make sure that "all Marylanders reap the benefits" of government efforts to kickstart the economy.
Whoever wins the Democratic nomination is likely to have the upper hand heading into the November general election. In 2006, Cardin beat Republican Michael S. Steele 54 percent to 44 percent.