Age: 42

Personal: Single.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, history and politics, Washington and Lee University; master’s degree, peace operations, George Mason University.

Experience: More than 20 years’ experience as an independent journalist, policy consultant.

Endorsements: Center for Freethought Equality, which backs candidates who support “increasing the visibility and political clout of the humanist and atheist community.”

Notable donors: None reported.


A: No.

A: No.

A: Yes.

A: Yes.

A: Obviously there is; just about everyone agrees. The problem is we’ve had decades of Republicans blocking bipartisan immigration deals: under W. Bush, under Obama, under Trump, under Biden most recently with the Lankford-pushed bill. More Democrats in Congress in each of these cases would have resulted the bills passing and in major improvements at the situation with the border and immigration in general: we cannot separate improving the immigration system from the crisis at the border. These bills would have significantly increased the number of border patrol, staff supporting immigration courts, immigration judges, and equipment and facilities to process migrants and asylum-seekers and monitor the border.  But we also have to look where Trump gutted the State Department: we must increase staff there that process visas and asylum requests.  I want to add eve more funding than the last bill to even more dramatically increase all of these personnel and resources.  I also want to involve UNHCR on both sides of the border to help set up temporary camps until we pass the needed legislation and process the backlog and all the people at our border.  We also cannot tolerate states like Texas taking matters into their own hands cruelly.

A: Absolutely. It was an imperfect compromise bill that nonetheless would have sent billions of dollars in resources to a border in the midst of crisis, so yes for all the reasons outlined in the earlier question. But Trump and Republicans overall would prefer to do nothing and blame Biden. So we need more Democrats in Congress, period, to fix this. But we must stop demonizing migrants, the vast majority of whom, documented or undocumented, are law-abiding hardworking neighbors striving for the American dream and committing crimes at far less rates than native-born Americans, as studies have shown for years. They are the 6 who died in the Key Bridge disaster in the Port of Baltimore. We must restore order in our immigration system but the demonization of migrants must stop.

A: Over the past 5.5 years, I have focused on improving four student outcomes: high-The key is addressing undemocratic imbalances in our system. I have a plan to rebalance representation in the Congress & the Supreme Court. In recent years, Republican senators have represented 39-54 million fewer Americans than Democratic senators yet have unacceptably had near equal numbers in the Senate. If we keep control of the Senate & the White House, and win just a few more seats or win over a tiny number of GOP senators, my plan is to lower the filibuster to 55 votes down from 60, then expand the Supreme Court by 4 seats to be appointed by Biden, then add DC and Puerto Rico as states with the new Supreme Court not blocking this. We don’t want to fully get rid of the filibuster because we don’t want a disaster where a 51-seat Republican majority might ram down horrible laws. We should protect minority views but not with a 60-vote threshold. With 55 we just need a few GOP votes or to win just 4 more seats than we have now. Then we can reform SCOTUS, add two new States!

A: I’m the only candidate here who’s lived over five years in Middle East, reported on the ground in Israel and Palestine. I think we need to support Israel as a democratic ally, militarily as well. But in reaction to Hamas’s horrific terrorist anti-Semitic October 7 pogrom, Israel’s Netanyahu-led-government has answered one terrible atrocity with an even larger atrocity. Nothing Hamas did can justify that all 2.3 million Gazan Palestinians — the vast majority of whom are not in Hamas — are starving or on the verge of starvation and aren’t allowed to leave Gaza or the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, mostly women and children. Neither Hamas nor Netanyahu have shown regard for Palestinian life, and while Hamas is the worst actor morally, Netanyahu—in power for years—has done more to create this awful present than anyone else, including supporting Hamas to weaken its rival Fatah, the partner Israel is expected to work with towards a two-state solution. Hamas must be removed from power but as the U.S., we need to emphasize Netanyahu must also go, replaced by a good-faith partner who will move forward on a two-state solution, including rolling back the occupation of the West Bank.

A: Ukraine, the Israeli military, civilians in Gaza.

A: I would absolutely support a national ban on military style semi-automatic rifles. I have done my own deep-dive research on the Second Amendment and the modern Heller ruling is an invented right-wing fiction without historical precedent. The Amendment refers to the preexisting ancient right to keep and bear arms as part of service in a local militia, a practice dating to Saxon settlement in Britannia after the Roman Empire’s withdrawal. Today, the Second Amendment is irrelevant and separate from the English Common Law right to individual self-defense, which is a right subject to legislative regulation like any other not in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. And there is no doubt that guns are the deciding factor in our perpetual epidemic of gun violence and mass shootings in America, with states that have more laws regulating guns generally having lower gun death rates. So what we really need is to appoint more Supreme Court justices that recognize the true history, meaning, & intent behind the Second Amendment: as noted earlier, I want to add four more Supreme Court justices for Biden to appoint, then we can fix this and enact sensible national gun regulations, including this ban.

A: As I noted before, my plan is not to eliminate the filibuster but to weaken is significantly. If we keep control of the Senate & the White House, my plan is to lower the filibuster to 55 votes down from 60. This will greatly increase the ability of Democrats to get things done and lower the number of Republicans we need to win over to enact bipartisan legislation. We don’t want to fully get rid of the filibuster because we don’t want a disaster where a 51-seat Republican majority might ram down horrible laws and our politics can seesaw dramatically back and forth with just 51 — seat majorities able to completely undo or reverse recent legislation when the other side was in the majority. This will help keep the spirit of the filibuster forcing some broader consensus and compromise and avoiding a tyranny of the majority from so easily happening while greatly reducing abuse and obstructionism we are seeing used constantly with the 60-vote threshold. We should protect minority views but not with a 60-vote threshold. With 55 we just need a few GOP votes or to win just 4 more seats than we have now.

A: In confirming judicial nominees, I’d consider diversity of background and experience, a record that avoids extremism, and being a champion of the people in expanding—not limiting—individual rights—and holding powerful institutions accountable. As for diversity, that does not mean I would never confirm straight white men, but that, in general, we need to be adding more women and minorities to the bench because they been chronically underrepresented. But diversity of experience also matters: we do not have enough public defenders or human rights lawyers that are also incredibly experienced and bring a different type of legal experience that we need more of in out system. We must also avoid ideological extremists who pollute and warp our federal courts, including the Supreme Court. Finally, we should be careful to confirm judges that expand the rights of citizens while balancing safety (e.g., no Heller) without taking away rights as we saw with Roe being overturned, but also that will not shy away from sensible regulations of corporations, including social media companies, when they abuse their power and infringe on the rights and safety of the public. This will combat the narrow extremism favoring the powerful in the federal judiciary.

A: Ben Cardin is legendary: 20 years in Maryland House of Delegates (10 as Speaker), 20 years in U.S. House as leader on national AND international issues before running for Senate. Impressed with Trone’s business record and 5 years in the House, impressed with Alsobrooks’s many years serving Prince George’ County, but they’re nowhere near ideal candidates to go against the well-known popular Larry Hogan—against whom they are now polling down 12 and 14 points, respectively—and have nowhere near the level of experience Cardin had when he ran for Senate in 2006. I bring over two decades of experience engaging on the national-level AND international-level issues a Senator will deal with, am the only candidate with my level of international affairs experience. While frontrunners were managing a wine business or running a county, I’ve been engaging on how gun control, military aid to Ukraine and Taiwan, voting rights, and healthcare are handled in the Senate as well as the politics and processes of the Senate, so I should be part of the discussion, at least pushing these candidates to do better than being down double-digits to Hogan and maybe even offer an alternative if they can’t do better!

Correction: This article was updated to correct a production error that resulted in an answer in the wrong location.