Maryland state Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George’s) officially entered the race for the U.S. Senate on Thursday night, telling supporters that he is challenging U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) to address critical issues, including disparities in education, high unemployment and the foreclosure fiasco.

Speakers who addressed the filled-to-capacity banquet room at the Camelot facility in Upper Marlboro called Muse’s run historic, and he drew a standing ovation as he stepped to the microphone. “I am told we have over 2,000 persons gathered for this little ole political announcement tonight,” he said. “You have already made history.”

Muse, founder and senior pastor of the Ark of Safety Christian Church in Upper Marlboro, said the state is diverse and that he would represent all. “We have the same hopes. We have the same dreams. We have the same desires,” he said.