Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, a fixture in Maryland politics for more than 50 years, easily won his party’s nomination Tuesday for a third term in the Senate. Republican Tony Campbell, a Towson University lecturer and former Army chaplain, emerged from a crowded primary for the GOP nod.
They will now face off in the general election in November.
Cardin celebrated his victory at a reception in Baltimore.
“I’m very gratified not only with the vote I received but going to the polling places and seeing the reaction from voters,” he said. “What they want me to do is stand up for American values. But they also want us to get things done.”
Campbell has taught political science and performs elections analysis.
"I teach politics and I got it right," Campbell said Tuesday night. "It was never meant for career politicians to be in office for 50 years."
He said he is running partly to combat the "one size fits all" approach of federal programs. He said he would emphasize education, and "keeping America secure as far as immigration."
Cardin topped a Democratic field that included the transgender activist Chelsea Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst who gained international attention by giving hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
As Private Bradley Manning, she was court-martialed at Fort Meade in 2013, convicted of espionage, theft and disobeying orders and sentenced to 35 years in prison. President Barack Obama commuted her sentence shortly before her left office in 2017.
Manning, 30, who lives in North Bethesda, sought to run to Cardin’s left and appeal to young progressives. But she eschewed a traditional campaign, and other Democratic candidates said they never met her.
The Democratic field also included Jerry Segal, a self-described peace activist from Montgomery County who donated more than $1 million to his campaign.
Campbell defeated GOP candidates including Christina Grigorian, a lawyer for a Washington firm, and small business owner Chris Chaffee.
The race was notably quiet. There were candidate forums and party dinners, but no debates. Late in the campaign, Segal, Manning and a third Democratic challenger — Baltimore businessman Rikki Vaughn — joined together to call on Cardin to debate them.
Cardin responded that many of the contenders themselves skipped campaign events.
“I’m sure there will be” at least one debate in the general election, he said Tuesday, “and I’m looking forward to it.”
Cardin said he had a record of “being able to work across the party line” on such efforts as protecting the Chesapeake Bay. He reported $2.8 million on hand this month in the most recent campaign finance filing.
Cardin was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1966, when he was still in law school, and has served in the General Assembly or Congress continuously since then.
Cardin, who supported Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, disagrees with the Trump administration on most issues. His website includes a section called “Tracking the Trump administration,” in which he chronicles his opposition to many of the president’s policies.