WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, announced on Wednesday that he would run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Barbara Mikulski, who is retiring in 2017.
"I am very much looking forward to the upcoming campaign and a healthy exchange of ideas," Van Hollen said on his Facebook page.
Mikulski, the longest-serving female senator in U.S. history, said earlier this week that she would leave office at the end of her fifth term. Political observers have floated several Maryland Democrats, including Van Hollen, as possible contenders to succeed her.
Van Hollen, 56, has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2003 and previously was a member of the Maryland General Assembly.
He said in the Facebook post that a formal announcement would follow. The Baltimore Sun first reported that Van Hollen had told supporters by email that he planned to run.
(Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Eric Walsh)