Ben Cardin

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Ben Cardin
Ben Cardin.jpg
U.S. Senate, Maryland
In office
January 3, 2007-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 8
PredecessorPaul Sarbanes (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 7, 2006
Next generalNovember 2018
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
AssociatesBaltimore City College
Bachelor'sUniversity of Pittsburgh
J.D.University of Maryland, Baltimore
Date of birthOctober 5, 1943
Place of birthBaltimore, Maryland
Net worth$2,707,037
Office website
Campaign website
Ben Cardin campaign logo
Benjamin Louis "Ben" Cardin (b. December 11, 1943) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Maryland. Cardin was first elected to the Senate in 2006.

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Cardin is a "rank-and-file Democrat".[1]

Cardin ran for re-election in 2012. Eighteen other candidates ran in the April 3, 2012 primary election.[2] Cardin defeated Raymond Blagmon, C. Anthony Muse, J.P. Cusick, Christopher Garner, Ralph Jaffe, Blaine Taylor, Ed Tinus, Lih Young in the Democratic primary.[3]

Incumbent Cardin won re-election on November 6, 2012.[4]


Cardin was born in 1943 in Baltimore, Maryland, where he also attended high school. After graduating from Baltimore City College in 1961, he went on to earn his B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh in 1964 and his J.D. at the University of Maryland in 1967. Cardin has also worked as a lawyer.[5]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Cardin's political career[5]:

  • Maryland State House of Delegates, 1966-1986
  • U.S. House of Representatives, 1987-2007
  • U.S. Senate, 2007-Present

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Cardin serves on the following Senate committees[6]:


Cardin served on the following Senate committees[7]:


Senate Judiciary Committee

Senator Cardin is a former member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee shortly after he was first sworn into the Senate in 2007.[8] When Cardin was in the US House, he served in the House Judiciary Committee. While on the committee, Cardin served as one of the managers for the impeachment proceedings of former federal judge Walter Nixon in 1989.[9]

Ricci v. DeStefano witness panel

Senator Cardin presided in the witness panel during Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing to the Supreme Court of the United States in 2009 over the Ricci v. DeStefano case. New Haven, Connecticut firefighters Frank Ricci and Lieutenant Ben Vargas who were a couple of the plaintiffs in the case were invited to testify as witnesses for the Republicans on the committee.[10]

When the case was discussed during the discussion panel, both Vargas and Ricci testified with Wade Henderson from The Leadership Council on Civil Rights and Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel who were witnesses for the Democrat members on the committee.[10]

During the witness panel, Attorney General McDaniel defended the ruling the Second Circuit issued in Ricci v. DeStefano. Judge Sotomayor was one of three judges who heard oral arguments in the case. McDaniel defended the three sentence summary order the Second Circuit issued claiming that the appeals court was consistent in its ruling citing 28 years of previous rulings in similar cases involving discrimination on civil service examinations. Also, McDaniel said that the ruling was in line with the doctrine of stare decisis.[11] McDaniel was one of five state Attorneys general to file an Amicus brief in support of the Second Circuit ruling when the U.S. Supreme Court granted certorati.[11]

However, both Lt. Vargas and Ricci countered with McDaniel's testimony and said that the case took a personal and emotional toll on themselves and their families. Ricci who suffers from dyslexia gave up a second job to study thirteen hours a day on a promotion test in the New Haven Fire Department. Ricci said to the committee that he was an "absentee father" sacrificing time from his kids and wife to secure the promotion.[12]

Lt. Vargas is Puertan Rican and said that the case focused too much on race and too little on who was qualified to be promoted to the New Haven Fire Department. Vargas said to Senator Cardin after the Second Circuit issued its ruling "that I was penalized for my hard work" as his reaction to the ruling.[12]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Cardin voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[13]



See also: United States Senate elections in Maryland, 2012

Cardin ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Maryland. [14] Cardin defeated Raymond Blagmon, C. Anthony Muse, J.P. Cusick, Christopher Garner, Ralph Jaffe, Blaine Taylor, Ed Tinus, Lih Young in the Democratic primary.[3] He faces Republican Dan Bongino in the November general election.[15]

General Election

U.S. Senate, Maryland General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBen Cardin Incumbent 56% 1,474,028
     Republican Dan Bongino 26.3% 693,291
     Libertarian Dean Ahmad 1.2% 32,252
     Independent Rob Sobhani 16.4% 430,934
     Democratic Lih Young (Write-in) 0% 163
     Republican Mary Podlesak (Write-in) 0% 21
     Independent Brandy Baker 0% 151
     Independent Ed Tinus 0% 48
     N/A Other Write-ins 0.1% 2,346
Total Votes 2,633,234
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections "U.S. Senator"

Primary Election

U.S. Senate-Maryland Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBen Cardin Incumbent 74.2% 240,704
Raymond Blagmon 1.8% 5,909
C. Anthony Muse 15.7% 50,807
J.P. Cusick 1.5% 4,778
Christopher Garner 2.9% 9,274
Ralph Jaffe 1% 3,313
Blaine Taylor 1.3% 4,376
Ed Tinus 0.3% 1,064
Lih Young 1.2% 3,993
Total Votes 324,218


On November 7, 2006, Cardin won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Michael S. Steele (R), Kevin Zeese (G), and Lih Young (D, Write-In) in the general election.[16]

U.S. Senate General Election, Maryland, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBen Cardin 54.2% 965,477
     Republican Michael S. Steele 44.2% 787,182
     Green Kevin Zeese 1.5% 27,564
     Democratic, Write-In Lih Young 0% 120
     Independent Write-In 0% 796
Total Votes 1,781,139

Campaign donors


Breakdown of funds according to source.

Cardin won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Cardin's campaign committee raised a total of $6,908,143 and spent $6,281,916.[17]


Breakdown of the source of Cardin's campaign funds before the 2006 election.

Cardin won election to the U.S. Senate in 2006. During that election cycle, Cardin's campaign committee raised a total of $8,739,737 and spent $8,799,604.[18]



Cardin was endorsed by the organization Progressive Maryland in the race for U.S. Senate. [19] Cardin has also been endorsed by President Obama, County Executive Rushern Baker and Governor Martin O'Malley.[20]


Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Cardin missed 6 of 1,935 roll call votes from Jan 2007 to Apr 2013, which is 0.3% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving.[21]

Congressional Staff Salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Cardin paid his congressional staff a total of $2,838,620 in 2011. He ranks 15th on the list of the highest paid Democratic Senatorial Staff Salaries and he ranks 19th overall of the highest paid Senatorial Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Maryland ranks 33rd in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[22]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Cardin's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $1,416,074 and $3,998,000. This averages to $2,707,037, which is a 22.16% decrease since 2010. This is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senators in 2011 of $20,795,450.[23]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Cardin's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $1,900,080 and $5,055,000. That averages to $3,477,540, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.[24]

Political positions

National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Cardin was ranked the 10th most liberal senator during 2012.[25]


According to the data released in 2012, Ben Cardin was ranked the tenth most liberal senator during 2011.[26]

Voting Record

Ben Cardin voted with the Democratic Party 96% of the time, which ranked 5 among the 51 Senate Democratic members as of March 2012.[27]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Ben + Cardin + Maryland + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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Cardin has been married to his wife Myrna (nee Edelman) since 1964. They have a daughter and two grandchildren.[28]

External links


  1. Gov Track "Ben Cardin," Accessed March 3, 2012
  2. City Biz List "Eighteen Challengers Vie for Cardin's Senate Seat," Accessed February 18, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 Maryland State Board of Elections "Primary Election Results 2012" Accessed April 3, 2012
  4. Politico "2012 Election Map, Maryland"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Benjamin Louis Cardin," Accessed October 29, 2011
  6. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  7. U.S. Senate Official Website "Committee Assignments," Accessed October 29, 2011
  8. "Senate Judiciary Committee" List of past members
  9. "Congress Bio Guide" Cumulative biography of Senator Cardin
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Senate Judiciary Committee" Sotomayor Hearing Witness Panel List, July 15, 2009
  11. 11.0 11.1 "LA Times" Day 4 Sotomayor Hearing Transcripts, July 16, 2009
  12. 12.0 12.1 "LA Times" Sotomayor Hearings, Day 4-Part 5, July 16, 2009
  13. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  14. ABC 2 News "Senator Ben Cardin will announce his re-election campaign this weekend," Accessed January 5, 2012
  15. Maryland State Board of Elections "2012 Primary Results"
  16. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006" Accessed October 29, 2011
  17. Open Secrets "Ben Cardin 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed February 2013
  18. Open Secrets "Ben Cardin 2006 Election Cycle," Accessed October 29 2011
  19. Hometown Annapolis "Political Notes: Maryland gets C+ on transparency" Accessed March 26, 2012
  20. Washington Post "Muse faces uphill battle in primary against Cardin" Accessed March 29, 2012
  21. GovTrack, "Ben Cardin" Accessed April 2013
  22. LegiStorm "Ben Cardin"
  23., "Cardin, (D-Maryland), 2011"
  24., "Cardin, (D-Maryland), 2010"
  25. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  26. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  27. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  28. Official Site "About Ben," Accessed October 29 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Sarbanes
U.S. Senate - Maryland
Succeeded by