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Four seek Md. U.S. Senate seat

October 28, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com
  • Maryland U.S. Senate candidates
Maryland U.S. Senate candidates

In his bid for a second six-year term, U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., has three opponents in the Nov. 6 general election.

Cardin was elected to the Senate in 2006 and took office in 2007.

His Republican opponent is first-time candidate Dan Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent.

The two other candidates on the ballot are Libertarian Dean Ahmad and Rob Sobhani, who is unaffiliated.

Sobhani, a businessman, has run twice for a Senate seat before. He finished third in a Republican primary in 1992 and second in a Republican primary in 2000.

Four other people have registered to be eligible as write-in candidates in this year’s general election — Lih Young, Mary Podlesak, Brandy Baker and Ed Tinus.

Cardin, 69, of Baltimore, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to 2007.

Before that, he served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1967 to 1986. He was House speaker from 1979 to 1986.

His website lists three of his top priorities as creating jobs, protecting the Chesapeake Bay and ensuring affordable, quality health insurance coverage.

The website says Cardin pushed to have a guaranteed dental benefit included in the Children’s Health Insurance Program and an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

He is on the Finance, Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works, Budget, and Small Business committees.

Bongino’s website has four “principles for prosperity” as his platform: reducing tax rates and simplifying the tax code; prioritizing education through ideas such as school choice and merit-based pay for educators; reforming immigration by securing the borders and streamlining the process for legal immigration; and encouraging foreign investment.

Cardin won the Democratic primary in April over eight challengers, including state Sen. C. Anthony Muse of Prince George’s County.

Bongino, 37, of Severna Park, Md., captured the Republican nomination by defeating nine opponents.

Sobhani, 52, of Potomac, Md., the founder and chief executive officer of Caspian Group Holdings, got into this year’s race as an unaffiliated candidate in June.

He is proposing to line up $3 billion to build upper decks over interstates 495 and 695 and $1 billion to reconstruct residential homes in inner-city Baltimore, both through public-private partnerships. He also is pledging to secure $1 billion in exports for Maryland-based companies and $500 million for cancer research and treatment in Maryland, his campaign website says.

Ahmad, 64, of Bethesda, Md., a consultant with a background in astronomy and astrophysics, lists four main platform points on his website: no more bailouts; restore civil liberties; end the deficit and reduce the debt; and stop the wars.

U.S. senators are paid $174,000 a year.

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Candidate bio boxes — U.S. senate

Name: Dean Ahmad
Date of birth: Aug. 11, 1948
Hometown: Bethesda, Md.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in astronomy from Harvard University in 1970, doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics from University of Arizona in 1975
Occupation: Consultant
Party affiliation: Libertarian
Political experience: Five-time member of the Libertarian Platform Committee; former secretary of the Libertarian Party of the U.S.; former chairman of the Maryland Libertarian Party

Name: Dan Bongino
Date of birth: Dec. 5, 1974
Hometown: Severna Park, Md.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Queens College in 1997; master’s degree in neuropsychology from Queens College in 1999; Master of Business Administration from Penn State University in 2010
Occupation: Former Secret Service agent
Party affiliation: Republican
Political experience: First-time candidate

Name: Ben Cardin
Date of birth: Oct. 5, 1943
Hometown: Baltimore
Education: Bachelor’s degree from University of Pittsburgh in 1964; bachelor of laws (LLB) degree from University of Maryland School of Law in 1967
Occupation: U.S. senator
Party affiliation: Democrat
Political experience: U.S. senator, 2007–present; member of U.S House of Representatives, 1987–2006; Maryland House of Delegates, 1967-1986; and Speaker, 1979-1986

Name: Rob Sobhani
Date of birth: Feb. 14, 1960
Hometown: Potomac, Md.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance in 1981, doctorate in political economy in 1989, both from Georgetown University
Occupation: Founder and chief executive officer of Caspian Group Holdings
Party affiliation: unaffiliated
Political experience: ran for U.S. Senate in 1992 and 2000

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