U.S. Senate candidates Sobhani, Bongino trade barbs -- Gazette.Net


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The campaign of U.S. Senate candidate Rob Sobhani accused a volunteer for Republican rival Dan Bongino of verbally attacking one of Sobhani’s volunteers Saturday and claiming Sobhani’s campaign is funded by terrorists.

The Bongino volunteer had acted belligerently to the Sobhani supporters at the Taste of Bethesda event before accusing Sobhani of Potomac, who was born in Kansas of Iranian parents, of having his campaign funded by “all that filthy al Qaeda money,” according to Sobhani spokesman Sam Patten.

Sobhani, who is running as an independent and has previously run as a Republican, has spent an estimated $4 million of his own money since entering the race in September, and is virtually tied with Bongino of Severna Park in a poll. Both trail U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) of Pikesville, who is seeking re-election to a second term. Cardin polled 50 percent in the Gonzales poll in September, followed by Bongino at 22 percent and Sobhani at 21 percent. The poll had a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

The Bongino campaign accused the Sobhani camp of lying about Saturday’s incident.

“This is yet another desperate fabrication by the Sobhani campaign in an effort to distract Marylanders from his disastrous big-government economic plan and mysterious motivations for entering the race,” said Karla Graham, a spokeswoman for Bongino.

Patten said Saturday’s incident was the latest in a series of attempts by Bongino volunteers of trying to tie Sobhani to the terrorist organization.

"To this point, our campaign has elected not to make a public issue out of documented cases of supporters of one of our opponents spreading hateful lies throughout the free state of Maryland because, well, frankly, they seemed like the kind of reactionary splutter of a sinking campaign," Patten said. “But for a volunteer of our campaign to be verbally assaulted in such a way is disgraceful and has no place in the political discourse of this country."

cford@gazette.net