By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two candidates have stepped up to challenge Maryland U.S. Senate incumbent Ben Cardin.

Cardin, a fixture in Maryland politics since the 1970s, is running for a third term in office against two newcomers.

Montgomery County business executive Neal Simon is running as an independent for the U.S. Senate seat.

Towson University political professor Tony Campbell is the Republican in the race running primarily on education. He points to Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2014 victory.

“That tells me people are ready for change. The incumbent has been in Congress for 32 years and there’s not much to show for it,” Campbell said.

Simon’s approach is to offer an alternative to the current political system.

“It’s toxic and it’s divisive and that divisiveness in Washington trickles into our society and it pits us against each other,” Simon said. “Men versus women, black versus white, rich versus poor, left versus right and we’re all tired of it. We’re starved for leadership that brings us together.”

Cardin sees an opportunity for change in the November election and told WJZ, “We’re hoping that there will be an adjustment in the midterm elections to give a stronger voice in the Congress to stand up to policies of the Trump administration, which I think have been damaging to our cities, damaging to our environment, damaging to our infrastructure, the list goes on and on.”

Voters make their choice Nov. 6.

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