Bobby Zirkin is considering a life outside elected office.
For the first time since being first elected to the House of Delegates in 1998, the now state Senator says he's thinking more about his relationships with his two young daughters than his political relationships in Annapolis.
"The most important thing to me is to be a father who does his best not to miss anything," Zirkin said. "I don't want to miss any parent-teacher conferences or any softball games.
"It's also not simple to run a business and be in the senate at the same time," said Zirkin, who has his own law practice in Owings Mills. "It's a very challenging thing."
Zirkin represents the 11th District, which currently includes Owings Mills, Pikesville and a portion of Timonium. He is the latest elected official to discuss the possibility of leaving public life. Earlier this week, Democratic Dels. Steve DeBoy and Jim Malone announced they would not seek re-election next year.
Since the session ended on April 8, speculation has swirled around Zirkin's retirement—a reality the senator said he is considering.
"I've made no iron-clad decisions but I am thinking about my political future," Zirkin said.
Zirkin said he drove back and forth from Annapolis during the 2013 session in order to spend as much time as possible with his two daughters—Sophie, 5, and Emma, 3 and his wife Tina.
"The most important thing in my life is my family," Zirkin said. "I have two small children and whatever decision I make will be all about them. I love the Senate and the public policy debates even when they are controversial. It's hard to juggle all those things, to keep all those balls in the air. The balls I refuse to let drop are my kids. I don't want to miss anything with them."
Zirkin repeated that he has not made a decision and declined to offer a timeline for when he would make any announcement about his political future.
"It was a very trying session," Zirkin said. "I just want to spend time with my family and my law practice."