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U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin ran an aggressive primary campaign across the state and won handily in the Democratic primary with 74 percent of the votes cast, according to unofficial final results from the state board of elections.

Cardin received 230,489 votes, far ahead of his eight Democratic challengers. The next highest candidate, state Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Dist. 26) of Fort Washington received just under 16 percent of the votes cast with 48,857. Other Democratic candidates, who all each received less than 3 percent of the vote, were Raymond Levi Blagmon, J. P. Cusick, Chris Garner, Ralph Jaffe, Blaine Taylor, Ed Tinus and Lih Young.

Former Secret Service agent Daniel John Bongino led a Republican field of 10 candidates with 66,551 votes, nearly 34 percent of the votes cast, ahead of second place finisher Richard J. Douglas, with 55,891, or 28 percent of the votes. Other Republican candidates, who all each received less than 9 percent of the vote, were Joseph Alexander, Robert “BRO” Broadus, William Thomas Capps, Jr., Rick Hoover, David Jones, John B. Kimble, Brian Vaeth and Corrogan R. Vaughn.

Half of Muse’s votes came from his home region of Prince George’s County, but Cardin won every county in the state, including Prince George’s, according to election results. A spokeswoman for Muse, Coniah Adams, said no statements would be issued Tuesday night.

Cardin, seeking a second term in the Senate after 10 terms in the House of Representatives, is heavily favored in November, according to Maryland political observers.

Cardin said voters have a choice in November to move the state and country forward or “to return to the failed policies of the Bush administration.”

“Maryland voters want to continue to move the country forward,” Cardin said in a telephone interview Tuesday night. “They don’t want to turn the country back on women’s rights, on workers’ rights.”

Though heavily favored in the primary, Cardin campaigned across the state. “I’m going to be just as aggressive in the general as I was in the primary,” Cardin said.

“I’m very pleased with what happened today, but tomorrow we start working on our general election,” Cardin said.

While leading throughout the night, Bongino said the Republican primary remained too close to call for most of the night.

“We’re optimistic, but we’re not taking anything for granted until the last vote is counted,” Bongino said.