U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin’s (D) political career will continue well into its sixth decade.
Maryland’s senior senator cruised to a third term Tuesday, winning with 64 percent of the vote.
Antonio “Tony” Campbell (R), a political newcomer running without the backing of Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan (R), received 31 percent of the vote.
Independent Neal Simon, the owner of a financial services firm who poured some of his personal fortune into the race, attracted just 4 percent of the vote.
Addressing supporters at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, Cardin spoke in an unusually somber tone for a winner, a reflection of the bitter political divide gripping the nation.
“Democrats and Republicans need to work together to deal with the critical problems of this country,” he implored. “The election is over. Let’s get down and do some work for the people of this nation and let’s be governed by the values of this nation.
“Let’s have no room for hate,” Cardin continued. “Let’s respect all the people in this country. Let’s stand by our values and do what’s right for the people of America.”
Cardin, a Baltimore native, entered political life in 1966, when he was elected to the House of Delegates at the age of 23, eventually rising to become speaker.
On Tuesday he racked up massive margins in the state’s large Democratic strongholds — Montgomery, Prince George’s, Baltimore City and Baltimore County.
Campbell, a political science and religion professor at Towson University and a Republican activist, appeared to suffer a minor embarrassment early in the campaign when Hogan signed Simon’s ballot petition.
Simon sought to distance himself from both parties on the campaign trail, a stance that failed to generate traction. He raised $1 million from donors, which he supplemented with $1 million from his personal fortune. Steve Crim, a former top strategist to Hogan, managed his campaign.
The candidates debated just once — on a Sunday afternoon opposite a Baltimore Ravens game. Cardin stressed his willingness to work with GOP colleagues on environmental issues and foreign affairs, and the importance of having Congress serve as a check against President Trump.