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The five-term Maryland senator announced her intention to not seek re-election Monday at a press conference in Baltimore. She has served in the Senate longer than any woman in history.

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Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced her retirement from the Senate Monday at a press conference in her hometown of Baltimore, saying she wanted her final two years to be focused on her constituents instead of a re-election campaign.

“This has been a hard decision to make,” Mikulski said at the Inn at Henderson’s Wharf in Fells Point.

“I want to give 120% of my time focused on my constituents. It’s never been about me, it’s always been about them.”

Mikulski, 78, served as the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee — the first woman to hold the position — until Republicans took the majority in January. She has served in the Senate longer than any woman in history.

Mikulski added that there was “nothing gloomy” about her announcement Monday.

“I want the people of Maryland to know there’s nothing gloomy about this announcement. There’s no health problem, there’s nothing wrong with the Senate.

Two congressional sources confirmed the retirement to BuzzFeed News before the senator’s announcement.

The Washington Post first reported the story Monday.

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Posted on Jul 26, 2016

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