8 things about Ben Cardin
1. He was born in Baltimore in October 1943, a third-generation Marylander.
2. His political career began at an early age. In eighth grade, a counselor talked him into running for school president. Facing a ninth-grade opponent, he lost the race. Running the next time in 10th grade, he was more organized with "precinct captains in each home room. He controlled the race and his destiny and won."
3. Cardin received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1964; he graduated first in his class at the University of Maryland School of Law.
4. Cardin meet his wife, Myrna Edelman, when they were classmates at Liberty Elementary School in Baltimore. Married for over 40 years, they have a daughter, Deborah, and two granddaughters.
5. While in law school, 23-year-old Cardin was persuaded to run for the Maryland State House of Delegates, where he served from 1967-1986. Cardin was speaker of the House from 1979-1986.
6. Other members of Ben's family (including his father, uncle, and cousins) have also been active in local politics. In 1978, according to the Washington Post, "in northwest Baltimore, the Cardin name means something perhaps, on a smaller scale, one can like it to what the Kennedy name means in Boston."
7. He has served in the House of Representatives since 1987, where he continues today to represent Maryland's Third Congressional District.
8. Cardin has appeared on a ballot 30 times: 15 times in Democratic primaries, and 15 times in general elections. None of these were tough races for Cardin. In 1996, he said, "I don't run to lose. I run to win. I don't run to make a statement. I'm very calculating."