Potomac businessman considers run for Senate next year

A Potomac businessman said Tuesday he is exploring an independent campaign for Senate next year partly out of frustration with partisanship in Congress.

Neal Simon, the CEO of a Rockville-based financial services firm, would challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin if he chose to run. Simon, 49, said he would make a decision on the race by the end of February.

“It has become painfully obvious that the current two-party dominance in Washington is incapable and unwilling to respond to the needs of the people they represent,” Simon said in a statement. “Truly independent leadership in Washington and across the country can unite the electorate — as well as legislators — to accomplish sensible and achievable solutions to the many problems we face.”

Running for statewide office as a first-time candidate is an ambitious prospect, even for someone helped along with the backing of a political party. If he runs, Simon — who is not registered with a political party — would have to present 10,000 valid signatures to the State Board of Elections to get his name on the ballot.

Simon’s statement describes him as an “active advocate” of The Centrist Project, a nonprofit founded by Dartmouth economist Charlie Wheelan to encourage independent candidates.

a nationwide movement focused on electing non-partisans across the country in an effort to break the gridlock and inject moderate voices into the national political dialogue.

Simon holds degrees from Brown University and University of Chicago, according to the statement. He is CEO of Bronfman Rothschild, a wealth management and retirement advisory firm that manages $5.4 billion in assets. Simon is married and has three children.



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