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By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—The candidates in Maryland’s U.S. Senate race squared off in a debate Wednesday morning.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains voters have more choices than they’re used to in this state.

There are new faces and deep pockets in Maryland’s U.S. Senate race. All voices were heard at WOLB radio’s candidate debate Wednesday morning.

Democrat incumbent Ben Cardin seeks to hold his seat with a war chest of $2 million on hand.

Republican contender Dan Bongino is raising $1.2 million in his first ever campaign.

And independent Rob Sobhani, with $4.5 million, is giving everybody a run for their money.

“I’m putting my own hard-earned money onto the table, so I can from day one work for the people of Maryland,” Sobhani said.

The fourth candidate is Libertarian Dean Ahmad.

“My biggest disadvantage is being the poor candidate. If I had Mr. Sobhani’s money I could solve that problem. But I don’t, so I’m having to rely on donations that are all coming from small donors,” Ahmad said.

A Washington Post poll this month shows Cardin with 53 percent of the vote, Bongino polling at 22 percent and Sobhani picked by 14 percent of the voters polled.

That’s somewhat different from the September Gonzales poll, where Cardin held a 50 percent lead, Bongino at 22 percent and Sobhani statistically tied with Bongino at 21 percent.

All agree on what Marylanders consider primary in this race: “jobs, the economy,” Bongino said. “In the hierarchy of needs, if you can’t put food on the table for your children in the morning everything else is about jobs. Make no mistake.”

“They want jobs. They want job growth, and I understand that. I have a track record for producing jobs in Maryland. I’m pleased that our numbers are better than the national, but that’s not good enough,” Cardin said.

“The most important slogan I hear is if you’re not hired, you’re not inspired. It goes back to jobs,” Sobhani said.

Voters will begin casting ballots at voting locations around the state on Saturday.

Early voting takes place October 27 through November 1.


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