By BRIAN WITTE
7:05 AM EDT, April 4, 2012
Former U.S. Secret Service agent Daniel Bongino won the Republican nomination for Senate in Maryland on Tuesday night, and he will face Democratic incumbent Sen. Benjamin Cardin in the general election.
Bongino highlighted the need for reducing tax rates during his campaign and simplifying the tax code, which he contends has become riddled with deductions for favored industries.
“It’s a cronyist tax code that only benefits people who are connected to insiders,” Bongino told The Associated Press after he won.
Bongino also said he will be campaigning to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law.
Bongino defeated Richard Douglas, a Bush administration appointee, and eight other candidates in the GOP primary. Preliminary election results show Bongino with 34 percent of the vote, compared to 28 percent for Douglas, according to complete but unofficial returns.
In Washington County, county Republicans followed the statewide trend, according to Washington Board of Elections figures.
Bongino was leading in the county with 3,571 votes, followed by Douglas with 2,550; Joseph Alexander with 795; Rick Hoover with 698; John B. Kimble with 481; Robert “Bro” Broadus with 450; Corrogan R. Vaughn with 364; David Mark Jones II with 345; William T. Capps Jr. with 302; and Brian Charles Vaeth with 84.
Bongino was endorsed by several state lawmakers, including state Sen. Edward Reilly, and Delegates Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Nic Kipke and Cathy Vitale.
On the Democratic side, Cardin won 74 percent of the vote, according to complete but unofficial returns. State Sen. C. Anthony Muse, of Prince George’s County, was the next closest candidate in the Democratic primary with 16 percent. No other candidate gained more than 3 percent in the eight-way contest.
With all 54 precincts and early voting tabulated in Washington County, Cardin had tallied 4,656 votes or 73 percent of the tally, according to complete but unofficial results from the Washington County Board of Elections.Cardin was followed by Christopher Garner with 433; Blaine Taylor with 314; J.P. Cusick with 225; Raymond Levi Blagmon with 213; Lih Young with 180; Muse with 174; Ralph Jaffe with 103; and Edward Joseph Tinus with 37 votes, unofficial results said.
Cardin picked up key Democratic endorsements, including from President Barack Obama, Gov. Martin O’Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blakeand Kweisi Mfume, a former congressman and former head of the NAACP.
After learning he had won, Cardin said he would focus on opposing Republican efforts to undo progress on health care, women’s rights and the environment.
“I’ve made it clear that that’s not going to happen under my watch,” Cardin said in a telephone interview.
Cardin has served one term in the Senate. He served 10 terms in the House of Representatives.
Muse, a pastor, has been a member of the state Senate since 2007. Before that, he served in the House of Delegates from 1995 to 1999.
(With early voting and 1,892 precincts of 1,850 precincts statewide - first number is Washington County, second number is statewide)
Ben Cardin (i) - Chris Garner - 433 Raymond Levi Blagmon - 213
J.P. Cusick -
Blaine Taylor - Ralph Jaffe - 103
Ed Tinus -
Staff Writer Don Aines contributed to this story.