Independent U.S. Senate hopeful Neal J. Simon has submitted more than 12,000 petition signatures to the state Board of Elections, the result of a four-month, statewide effort he hopes will put him on the ballot this fall.
“We have at least one [signature] from every county” in the state, he said, as he and his team of young canvassers turned in boxes of ballot petitions late last week.
To qualify for the November ballot, Simon will need for 10,000 of his 12,090 signatures to be ruled valid by the board, which will start its review this week.
Canvassers for Independent U.S. Senate hopeful Neal Simon turn in petitions to the state Board of Elections as Simon, in the background, watches. Photo by Bruce DePuyt
“That means name, address and birth date,” he said, adding, “It’s more difficult than people think” because of the reluctance many people have to provide such information due to identity theft concerns.
Simon, 50, is CEO of Bronfman Rothschild, an investment and wealth management firm. A resident of Potomac, he has served on numerous non-profit boards.
He describes himself as moderate independent who is closer to Republicans on fiscal issues and Democrats on social policy. In a recent Maryland Matters op-ed, he called for an end to closed primaries.
Simon is one of a handful of candidates to be endorsed by Unite America, “an organization that is committed to electing common sense, independent candidates who can bridge the growing partisan divide,” its website says.
He is one of the featured speakers at the Independent Voter Network conference taking place in Denver next month, alongside 2016 presidential candidate Evan Mullin and former congressman Brian Baird (D-Wash.).
If he is successful in getting on the ballot, Simon will appear alongside incumbent Benjamin L. Cardin (D); Tony Campbell, winner of the 11-candidate GOP primary; Arvin Vohra, a Libertarian; Green Party candidate Mia Mason; and independents Steve Gladstone and Michael Puskar.
Cardin is seeking his third term and is heavily favored at the moment.