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Sen. Cardin to oppose Ben Carson for HUD

Maryland Senator Ben Cardi
Maryland Senator Ben Cardi (Robert K. Hamilton / Baltimore Sun)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Ben Cardin said Wednesday he will oppose retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson's nomination to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"I just don't believe he has the background in housing that I would like to see," the Maryland Democrat said. "I don't think it's the right position for him."

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Cardin described Carson, a former Baltimore County resident, as a "fine person" and a renowned surgeon, but questioned his knowledge of housing issues. Cardin said he did not feel Carson's confirmation needed further delay.

Cardin supported ending debate on the nomination Wednesday, and the Senate voted 62-37 to advance it. His fellow Maryland Democrat, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, opposed ending debate.

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The final vote is expected Thursday, and Carson appears to have the votes needed for confirmation.

"I'm ready to vote," Cardin said. "And I didn't think there was any reason why we shouldn't move as quickly as possible into a vote, but I will vote 'no.'"

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