Jon Cardin, Maryland delegate for District 11 in Baltimore County, announced Monday that he is running for Maryland Attorney General.
“I couldn’t wait any longer,” Cardin said. “I firmly believe that Maryland’s citizens are facing tougher and tougher challenges, and I am prepared to be the next attorney general.”
He joins what is expected to be a jam-packed attorney general’s race. State Sen. Brian Frosh (D-16) announced an exploratory committee for attorney general in October. State Del. Bill Frick (D-16) is raising campaign funds but has not officially announced his candidacy. State Del. Aisha N. Braveboy (D-25) is also eyeing the position.
Cardin has a record of tackling complex issues such as cyber-bullying, voting rights, campaign finance and the environment.
“Cyber issues are going to be the next frontier for the attorney general,” he said.
When Cardin noticed that Maryland’s 2012 cyber-security bill didn’t deal with social media harassment or threats, he went to work on Grace’s Law, which is now considered one of the toughest cyber-bullying laws in the nation. Working with constitutional experts and the ACLU, Cardin, the lead sponsor on the law, made sure the bill protected minors as well as First Amendment rights.
In addition to cyber issues, as attorney general Cardin would also prioritize subjects such as identity theft, predatory lending and business practices and electronic gang activity.
“I vow to be two steps ahead on each one of those,” he said.
Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond thinks Cardin is prepared for the office.
“He has a variety of issues that he’s worked on, so I don’t think he’s strictly [concerned with] one subject or another,” she said. “I think he’s interested in everything that brings some order and justice to the state.”
Moshe Starkman, a Republican consultant and past president of the Maryland Young Republicans, said Cardin has a record of supporting increased taxation and expanded government and not fiscal responsibility or government accountability.
“My hope is that he will draw upon his diverse education, place the interests of the state over that of his party and advocate for the interests of the state of Maryland over federal political interests,” Starkman said in a Facebook message.
Some point to Cardin’s August 2009 proposal to his girlfriend, for which he staged a raid of the boat they were on using a police helicopter and marine unit, as an irresponsible act. He wound up paying Baltimore City $300 for the act, a cost that several critics, including City Councilman William H. Cole IV, said was too low.
His uncle, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, said his nephew is a committed public servant.
“Jon is a consensus builder who will bring a common-sense approach to the office of attorney general, balancing the need for strong consumer laws and environmental protection with a sense of economic growth,” the senator said in a statement.
In addition to his work on environmental and cyber issues, Cardin feels his efforts on campaign finance and voting rights makes him an ideal candidate.
“I think every single entity deserves a voice,” Cardin said. “Every person deserves to be protected. They deserve to be heard.”