Forehand says she is retiring as a fierce race for her Montgomery Senate seat takes shape

Sen. Jennie M. Forehand (D-Montgomery) said Thursday night that she plans to retire when her term ends next year, ending a career in the Maryland legislature that began in 1978.

Forehand’s decision did not come as a surprise. Two other Montgomery County Democrats have already announced plans to seek her Senate seat this year in what is expected to be a highly spirited primary: Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons and former delegate Cheryl Kagan.

But Forehand said in a brief interview that her decision to forgo another re-election bid in District 17 was not easy.

“I’m going to retire at the end of my term,” she said. “I thought I should tell people now that those are my plans.”

Forehand served in the House of Delegates between 1978 and 1994 and has been a member of the Senate since 1995. Her district includes Rockville and Gaithersburg.

(Jennie M. Forehand)

Forehand narrowly survived a Democratic primary challenge from Kagan in 2010.

This year’s Democratic primary is scheduled for June. Forehand’s term expires in January 2015.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.

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