John Sarbanes, an 18-year veteran member of the United States House of Representatives and an active member in Greek American community political affairs announced that he will not seek reelection to what would have been his 10th term in Congress.
“Stepping away from Congress voluntarily — whether it’s at the eighteen-year mark as in my case or at any point — is not an easy thing,” Sarbanes said in a statement.“Because the stakes of what we do are so high and because we trust in our value to the team, the case can always be made to press on to the next election. Our country faces many challenges right now, but the Democratic caucus that will carry forward into the next Congress and beyond has a strength and unity of purpose that bodes well for the future.”
The son of the late U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes, Sarbanes represents the 3rd District of Maryland, which includes much of suburban Baltimore.
In announcing his retirement plan, Sarbanes said he had been “wanting to explore the many opportunities to serve that exist outside of elected office,” including in the volunteer and nonprofit arenas. Many believe he could have been a potential Senate candidate but Sarbanes has already stated that he has opted against entering the field.
Sarbanes has been a longtime advocate for the various issues important to the Greek American community.
His connection to Greece and Greek ideals goes well beyond his family heritage. While studying at Princeton University, he was one of the first students to attend classes at the newly-created Princeton Hellenic Studies center, where he took modern Greek courses taught by the center’s iconic professor Dimitri Gondicas, who launched the program in 1979.
Sarbanes also spent a year in Greece as a Fulbright Scholar before attending Harvard Law School and eventually winning his first election to Congress back in 2007.
When his father passed away, the younger Sarbanes gave an eloquent speech before Congress about how his family’s Greek ideals helped shape him.