GREENBELT, Maryland — For the 52nd consecutive year, Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin has been elected to hold public office.
Cardin was elected to a third term in the United States Senate Tuesday, capturing the lion’s share of the vote on a rainy day in Maryland and earning an early call from the television networks.
“I can tell you that rain did not stop the enthusiasm of the voters,” Cardin told Capital News Service Tuesday evening outside Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt. “That gives me great encouragement about a ‘Blue Wave.’ So I’m very optimistic that we’re going to see great results here in Maryland and around the nation.”
“Voters are anxious to come out to vote, and they’re here,” the senator said. “They recognize that this midterm election is about the future of our country. So, you see the type of enthusiasm that you see in presidential years. And that’s very exciting to hear.”
Cardin, 75, was elected to the Senate in 2006 after serving 20 years in the House and the previous 20 years in the Maryland House of Delegates. With such a lengthy career, he’s seen many a president come through Washington. President Donald Trump, Cardin said, may have been a a driving force in this year’s voter turnout.
“I think President Trump has been the motivating factor for voters – those who agree and those who disagree with his policies,” Cardin said. “They recognize that this midterm election is about whether we want to have an independent Congress, independent elected officials that will act as a check and balance on the president.”
Cardin was opposed by Towson University professor Tony Campbell and independent Neal Simon, a Potomac businessman. During his time in office, Cardin said he has practiced working across party lines; he ran his campaign on similar grounds. That’s part of the secret, he said, to his longevity in public office.
“What I try to do is represent the people of this state and I’ve been able to get things done,” Cardin said. “It’s a tough environment, and yet I’ve been able to stand up to President Trump when he has affected our values.
“I think it’s the ability to work across party lines and get things done, but standing up to the president when he’s leading this country in the wrong direction,” the senator said.
In an October debate, Cardin echoed a similar message.
“When the election’s over, you’ve got to govern, you got to work together,” the Senator said.
Campbell said he would do more than Cardin on education, environment and public safety.
“A leader should step up,” he said.
Simon said he would transcend partisan conflict and bring his business experience to the Senate.
“My Number 1 priority as a U.S. senator will be to help people in Maryland get ahead, and that starts with good jobs,” Simon said.
Also on the ballot was Libertarian candidate Arvin Vohra.