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Last session for Forehand

Barring a special session this year, the 90-day General Assembly session that begins next week will be the last for five-term state Sen. Jennie Forehand.

Sen. Jennie Forehand

Maryland state Sen. Jennie Forehand. [Photo: Maryland State Archives]

Forehand, 78, confirmed to The Washington Post Thursday what many had suspected for months—she’s retiring rather than seeking a sixth term in the Senate and her tenth term in the General Assembly.

“I’m going to retire at the end of my term,” Forehand, D-Montgomery, told the paper. “I thought I should tell people now that those are my plans.”

Forehand’s retirement was not unexpected—at least not by two other Democrats who had already declared their intention to seek the seat she currently holds.

Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons and former Del. Cheryl Kagan both announced their intentions to run for the Senate seat last year.

Kagan, who served two terms in the House from 1995-2003, challenged Forehand in the Democratic primary in 2010. Forehand held off Kagan by a margin of just 365 votes.

That campaign was marked by what Forehand complained was a bitter rivalry primary fight between herself and Kagan.

“Negative campaigning was something we’d never had in our district and I thought it was inexcusable,” Forehand told the Gazette newspaper in September 2010.

Kagan struck a conciliatory tone in a statement emailed Friday in which she said Forehand ” is a true trailblazer, and we owe her our gratitude.

“Jennie has set an example of honorable service that all who aspire to public office should admire.   I hope to carry on this tradition of civility, teamwork, and steadfast advocacy of progressive Democratic values for District 17,” Kagan said in her statement. “I wish Jennie all the best as she spends more time with her husband Bill, their children, and their grandchildren.”