Ben Cardin

Infobox Senator | name=Ben Cardin

jr/sr=Junior Senator
alongside=Barbara Mikulski
term_start=January 3, 2007
preceded=Paul Sarbanes
term_start2=January 6, 1987
term_end2=January 3, 2007
preceded2=Barbara Mikulski
succeeded2=John Sarbanes
order3 = 103rd Speaker, Maryland House of Delegates
term_start3 = January 6, 1979
term_end3 = January 6, 1987
predecessor3 = John Hanson Briscoe
successor3 = Clayton R. Mitchell, Jr.
date of birth=birth date and age|1943|10|05
place of birth=Baltimore, Maryland
residence= Baltimore, Maryland
occupation= attorney
spouse=Myrna Edelman Cardin
children=Deborah Cardin
Michael Cardin
alma_mater=University of Pittsburgh, University of Maryland, Baltimore
religion=Jewish [ [ Candidate Profile: U.S. Senate: Ben Cardin (D) ] ]

Benjamin Louis "Ben" Cardin (born October 5 1943) is a Democratic member of the United States Senate representing the state of Maryland. On November 7, 2006, Cardin was elected to the United States Senate seat being vacated by Paul Sarbanes, having defeated Republican challenger Lt. Governor Michael S. Steele.

Political career

Maryland House of Delegates

Cardin served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1967 to 1986. He was chairman of the Ways & Means Committee from 1974 to 1979, and after that Speaker until he retired from that house. As Speaker, he was involved with reform efforts involving Maryland's property tax system, the school financing formula and the ethical standards for elected officials. []

House of Representatives

In 1986, with then-Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski running for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Senator Charles Mathias, Jr., Cardin ran for Mikulski’s seat representing the 3rd Congressional District. Cardin won the Democratic nomination with 82% of the vote and became Congressman in the general election with 79% of the vote against a perennial candidate, Republican Ross Z. Pierpont.

Cardin was reelected nine times, rarely facing serious opposition. In the 2000 round of redistricting, his district was altered to add significant portions of Anne Arundel County, including the state capitol of Annapolis, to his Baltimore-based district. His last two opponents hailed from Anne Arundel and nearly carried the district's portion of that county.

In the House, Cardin was involved with fiscal issues, pension reform, and health care. His legislation to increase the amount people can store in their 401k plans and IRAs was passed in 2001. His bill to expand Medicare to include preventive benefits such as colorectal, prostate, mammogram, and osteoporosis screening was also enacted. He also authored legislation to provide a Medicare prescription drug benefit for chronic illnesses; fund graduate medical education; and guarantee coverage for emergency services. []

Cardin has also advocated, via proposed legislation, welfare reform. His bill to increase education and support services for foster care children between ages 18 and 21 was signed into law in 1999. [] He authored bills to expand child support, improve the welfare-to-work program, and increase the child care tax credit. []

In 1998, Cardin was appointed Chairman of the Special Study Commission on Maryland Public Ethics Law by the Maryland General Assembly. In 1997, he co-chaired the Bipartisan Ethics Task Force in an effort to reform ethics procedures in the House of Representatives. He also held leadership positions on the Organization, Study and Review Committee and the Steering Committee of the Democratic Caucus and served as Senior Democratic Whip.

Cardin has been commended for his work with fiscal policy. He has been honored by "Worth Magazine" and by "Treasury and Risk Management" for his work protecting retirement plans and government-support medical care for the elderly. He has also received scores of 100% from the League of Conservation Voters and NAACP indicating stances that are in favor of environmental protection and civil rights. He was also one of the 133 members of Congress to vote against the Iraq Resolution. []

Committee assignments

As of May 2006, Cardin served on the following House committees:

*Member of the Ways and Means Committee.
**Ranking member of the Trade Subcommittee.
**Member of the Human Resources Subcommittee.
*Ranking member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

2006 U.S. Senate election

On April 26, 2005, Cardin announced that he would seek the U.S. Senate seat of current long-standing senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), following the announcement by Sarbanes that he would not be running for re-election in 2006. On September 12, 2006, Cardin faced a challenging primary battle with other Maryland Democrats, including Kweisi Mfume, Josh Rales, Dennis F. Rasmussen, and Allan Lichtman. Cardin won, however, with 44% of the vote, compared to 40% for Mfume, 5% for Rales, and 2% for Rasmussen. [] He was declared the winner just after 2% of the precincts reporting.

Cardin won election on November 7, 2006, defeating Republican challenger Michael S. Steele 54% to 44%. []

enate Committee Assignments

*Committee on Environment and Public Works
**Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health
**Subcommittee on Transportation Safety, Infrastructure Security, and Water Quality
**Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
*Committee on Foreign Relations
**Subcommittee on African Affairs
**Subcommittee on European Affairs
**Subcommittee on Near East and South and Central Asian Affairs
*Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
*Committee on the Judiciary
**Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights
**Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law
**Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security
**Subcommittee on the Constitution
*Committee on the Budget
*Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Co-Chairman)

International experience

Cardin has been a Commissioner on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the U.S. Helsinki Commission) since 1993, serving as Ranking Member from 2003 to 2006. In the 110th Congress, he was appointed co-chairman of the Commission, and is currently Vice President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly. []

Education & honors

Cardin earned his B.A. degree cum laude in 1964 from University of Pittsburgh. During this time he became a member of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity. In 1967, he graduated first in his class from the University of Maryland School of Law. Cardin also holds honorary degrees from several institutions, including the University of Baltimore School of Law (1990); University of Maryland, Baltimore (1993); Baltimore Hebrew University (1994); and Goucher College (1996).

From 1988 to 1995, he chaired the Maryland Legal Services Corp. Through much of his political career, he has continued to work with law policy.

From 1988 to 1999, Cardin served on the St. Mary's College of Maryland Board of Trustees, and in 2002, he was appointed to the St. Mary's Advisory Board for the Study of Democracy. In 1999, he was appointed to the Goucher College Board of Trustees.


* Supports Net Neutrality, as shown by his vote during the 109th Congress in favor of the Markey Amendment to H.R. 5252 which would add Net Neutrality provisions to the federal telecommunications code. []
* Supports the United States Public Service Academy Act which would found a civilian counterpart to the five military academies
* Pro-Israel. []
* Pro-India. As a congressman, Cardin supported civilian nuclear cooperation with India. []


Cardin was born in Baltimore, Maryland to Dora Green and Meyer M. Cardin. [ [ 1 ] ] He was raised in a political family, which brought him significant name recognition. The family name was originally “Kardonsky” before it was changed to “Cardin”, changed by Cardin's paternal grandparents, Russian Jewish immigrants. Cardin’s father was elected a Delegate representing District 2 of Baltimore City at the age of 27. He served from 1935 to 1937. The family lived at 1730 E. Baltimore Street. In 1967, Meyer was appointed as a Judge on the Baltimore City Circuit Court and served a 10-year term. Meyer died in 2005. Senator Cardin and his family attend Beth Tfiloh Congregation near their home. The Cardin family has been affiliated with this Modern Orthodox Congregation for three generations. On the high holidays, they sit in the seventh row and on Yom Kippur they open and close the ark for the Ne'ilah service.

On November 24, 1964, Cardin married Myrna Edelman, a teacher. They have a daughter, Deborah. Their son Michael committed suicide in 1998 at age 30. [" [ For Md.'s Cardin, the Delight Is in the Details] ", "The Washington Post", September 3, 2006.]

Ben’s uncle, Maurice A. Cardin, formerly known as Morris Kardonsky, served as a Delegate representing District 5 of Baltimore City from 1951 to 1966. Maurice would play a big part in jump-starting young Ben’s political career. Meyer and Maurice were lawyers with the family law firm of Cardin & Cardin; the other partner was Jacob L. Cardin. Shoshana S. Cardin was appointed a delegate from Baltimore County District 2 to the 1967–68 Constitutional Convention, which was rejected by voters of Maryland on May 14, 1968.

In 1966, Maurice decided to not run for the District 5 seat so that his 22-year-old law student nephew Ben could run. The Cardin name proved unstoppable and Ben won, becoming a Delegate in 1967. Ben graduated from law school later that year. Ben subsequently served as Delegate representing District 42 after redistricting. Ben went on to serve as chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee at the age of 31 and as Speaker at the age of 36.

In 2002, Ben’s 32-year-old nephew, Jon S. Cardin, having similarly just graduated from University of Maryland law school in 2001, ran for election as a Delegate representing District 11 of western Baltimore County. With state legislative District 11 overlapping Congressional District 3, there were two Cardins on the ticket in this area in 2002. Present at Jon’s swearing in was the oldest living former member of the House of Delegates at 95 years of age, Meyer Cardin, Jon’s grandfather and Ben’s father. Also in attendance was Ben himself, who stated, "The next generation's taking over." [ [ "Two famous-name freshmen begin to carve own niche in Md. House" — Balitmore Sun, March 18, 2003] ] After Ben announced that he would vacate his Congressional seat to run for the U.S. Senate, Jon Cardin stated that he was exploring a campaign for his uncle's Congressional seat.

Election history


* [ Congressional Quarterly Voting and Elections Collection]

External links

* [ United States Senator Ben Cardin] official Senate site
* [ — Ben Cardin] profile
* [ Ben Cardin Senate 2006] official campaign site

before=Barbara Mikulski
years=1987 – 2007
after=John Sarbanes
U.S. Senator box
before=Paul Sarbanes
alongside=Barbara Mikulski

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