Cardin, Campbell to face off in Md. US Senate race

WASHINGTON — Heavily favored to win, incumbent Sen. Ben Cardin fended off seven other Democrats — including infamous leaker Chelsea Manning — to win his party’s Maryland primary Tuesday by a huge margin.

On the Republican side, political science professor Tony Campbell picked up the GOP nomination.

Cardin, 74, was first elected in Maryland in 1966, when he won a seat in the state’s House of Delegates. He is a third-generation Marylander. In the wake of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that left 58 people dead, Cardin has made repeated calls for a change to U.S. gun laws to clamp down on the sales of military-style and automatic weapons.

His closest Democratic competitor, Chelsea Manning, had been trailing in a recent Goucher College poll at 17 percent. Manning is a former U.S. Army private and was convicted of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.

Manning had seemed resigned to a loss in the weeks leading up to the primaries, tweeting that the elections were rigged, and “we cant expect any change thru the upcoming elections – the primaries are rigged … change wont come thru any ballot.”

Campbell, 52, teaches politics at Towson University. He is also a former U.S. Army chaplain.

He campaigned on a platform of education reform, smaller government and national security.

Campbell has said that his political role model is Ronald Reagan.

The 80,000 provisional ballots cast in the primary won’t be counted until July 5.

Maryland has been a Democratic stronghold for decades. The last Republican to hold a U.S. Senate seat was Charles Mathias, who held the office from 1969 to 1987.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up