Dan Bongino

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Dan Bongino
Bongino Senate.jpg
Personal details
Born Daniel John Bongino
(1974-12-04) December 4, 1974 (age 43)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Paula Martinez
Children (1) daughter
Education City University of New York,
(BS, MS)
Pennsylvania State University,
University Park
Website Campaign website

Daniel John Bongino (born December 4, 1974) is a former United States Secret Service agent who was a primary candidate for Florida's 19th congressional district in 2016.[1]

He was the Republican Party nominee for Maryland's 6th Congressional District in the 2014 elections. Bongino lost a close race to Democratic incumbent John Delaney, coming within a few thousand votes of victory.[2] Bongino was also the Republican Party nominee in Maryland's 2012 election for the United States Senate, which he lost to incumbent Democrat Ben Cardin.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Bongino, who is of Italian ancestry, attended the City University of New York, where he earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in psychology, and Pennsylvania State University, where he earned a Master of Business Administration.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Bongino worked with the New York City Police Department for four years, from 1995 to 1999.[5] He joined the U.S. Secret Service in 1999 as a special agent,[5] leaving the New York Field Office in 2002 to become an instructor at the Secret Service Training Academy in Beltsville, Maryland. In 2006, he was assigned to the U.S. Presidential Protection Division during George W. Bush's term. He remained on protective duty after Barack Obama became President, leaving in May 2011 to run for the U.S. Senate.[5]

Bongino has been a radio host and commentator on both local and national radio programs. He has been a guest host for both the Sean Hannity and Mark Levin radio shows and sometimes fills in on WMAL radio in Washington, DC and WBAL radio in Baltimore. Bongino has also provided guest commentary on both political and security matters for the NBC Nightly News, CBS This Morning, the Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC and a multitude of print and online outlets.[6]

Bongino currently hosts a podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher called "The Dan Bongino Show".[7]

Political campaigns[edit]

2012 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Bongino ran for the U.S. Senate in Maryland in 2012.[8] Former gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy was his campaign chairman.[5] Bongino won the Republican primary on April 3, 2012, with 33.8 percent of the vote, defeating nine other candidates. He ran against Senator Ben Cardin and Independent Rob Sobhani in the November 2012 general election, finishing second with 26.6% of the vote.[9]

2014 House of Representatives election[edit]

Bongino ran for the U.S. House of Representatives seat from Maryland's 6th Congressional District in the 2014 election against incumbent Democrat John Delaney. The district is considered the 9th least compact Congressional district as a result of redistricting after the 2010 census.[10] In October 2013 Bongino was endorsed by an Allen West-affiliated group.[11][12] In July 2014 Bongino was endorsed by Rand Paul.[13] Bongino lost a close race, coming within a few thousand votes of an upset victory, despite the incumbent being heavily favored according to The Cook Political Report.[14]Ultimately, Bongino could not overcome a 20,500-vote deficit in the district's share of Montgomery County--far more than the overall margin.[15]

2016 House of Representatives election[edit]

Bongino speaking at an event in February 2016

After moving to Florida in 2015, Bongino contemplated running for the United States Senate and Florida's 18th congressional district in 2016.[16][17] However, in June 2016, Bongino declared that he would seek the Republican nomination for Florida's 19th congressional district.[18] He faced Chauncey Goss, a Sanibel City Councilman who sought the seat in 2012, and Francis Rooney, a businessman and former United States Ambassador to the Holy See, in the primary.

In an August 2016 interview with a Politico reporter, Bongino went on a profanity laced rant against the reporter, who asked about a story in the Naples Daily News that Bongino said was dishonest. The recorded phone call was published by Politico.[19] The "Constitutional Conservatives" PAC ran ads against Bongino in that race.[20] Bongino placed third in the August 2016 primary, losing the nomination to Rooney.[21]

Political positions[edit]

Bongino is a member of the Groundswell, a coalition of conservative and libertarian activists fighting to advance conservative causes, according to public documents.[22]

Bongino opposes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare) and penned an editorial against it.[23]

Bongino has downplayed the Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections investigation, calling it a "total scam."[24]


Bongino made a "screaming, profanity-laced" complaint in 2016 to a reporter in a recorded conversation about his run for office.[25][19] He later explained that he was under stress due to his wife's illness and said that the reporter had goaded him.[26]

Bongino received criticism for using his Secret Service background as part of his run for political office and for his claim of having secret information based on conversations he overheard in the Obama White House.[27] He has also defended President Obama in terms of the Birther allegations.[28] In 2016, Bongino criticized leakers, saying "Grow a spine, you gutless punks."[29]


In late 2013, Bongino's book about his career as a secret service agent, Life Inside the Bubble, was released and immediately made it onto both the New York Times and Amazon Best Sellers list. The book discusses his experiences protecting presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and investigating federal crimes along with his 2012 run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland.[30]

The book caused controversy, with an anonymous former colleague criticizing him for trying to use his proximity to President Obama in his political career: "He's trying to draw attention to himself and he's hijacking the Secret Service brand. That's all he's got going for him." Bongino claimed to have had access to "high-level discussions" in the White House. Anonymous former colleagues said he "tends to exaggerate his importance on the presidential detail and exaggerate his proximity" and that "We don't sit in on meetings at the White House. We don't sit in on high-level meetings."[31]

In response to the criticism from an anonymous former colleague, Bongino stated "There's nothing confidential in the book" and "It's not a tell-all. It's my tale of the Secret Service."[32]

His book, The Fight: A Secret Service Agent’s Inside Account of Security Failings and the Political Machine was published in January 2016 and made it onto the New York Times Best Sellers list in March 2016.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Bongino is married to the former Paula Andrea Martinez, who was born in Colombia, and has two daughters. In 2012, Bongino and his wife were small business owners and their core business concentration was security-consulting, Internet design and development.[34] In 2016, Bongino said the business was shut down in 2012 when he ran for office. In a June 2016 personal disclosure, he reported making a living in media.[35]

Bongino announced in April 2015 that he was moving from Severna Park, Maryland to Palm City, Florida due to "a non-emergency family situation."[36][37] In 2016 Bongino said the move was due to his wife's health condition (lupus) and to be closer to her mother.[35]

Electoral history[edit]

2016 Florida's 19th Congressional District Republican Primary[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Francis Rooney 46,800 52.73
Republican Chauncey Goss 26,520 29.88
Republican Dan Bongino 15,434 17.39
Total votes 88,754 100.00
2014 Maryland's 6th Congressional District General Election[39]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Delaney (incumbent) 94,704 49.7
Republican Dan Bongino 91,930 48.2
Green George Gluck 3,762 2.0
Total votes 190,536 100.00
2014 Maryland's 6th Congressional District Republican Primary[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Bongino 23,933 83.5
Republican Harold W. Painter, Jr. 4,718 16.5
Total votes 28,651 100
United States Senate election in Maryland, 2012[41]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Ben Cardin (incumbent) 1,402,092 55.41 +1.20
Republican Daniel Bongino 674,649 26.66 -17.53
Independent S. Rob Sobhani 420,554 16.62 N/A
Libertarian Dean Ahmad 30,672 1.21 +1.21
N/A Others (write-in) 2,583 0.10 +0.05
Majority 727,443 100.00
Turnout 2,530,550 68.23
Democratic hold Swing
United States Senate Election in Maryland, 2012 Republican Primary[42]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Daniel Bongino 66,561 33.8
Republican Richard J. Douglas 55,907 28.4
Republican Joseph Alexander 17,567 8.9
Republican Bro Broadus 10,503 5.3
Republican Rick Hoover 10,241 5.2
Republican John B. Kimble 10,088 5.1
Republican David Jones 8,002 4.1
Republican Corrogan R. Vaughn 7,869 4.0
Republican William Thomas Capps, Jr. 6,768 3.4
Republican Brian Vaeth 3,602 1.8
Total votes 204,268 100


  1. ^ Hughes, Clyde (June 13, 2016). "Radio Host, Author Dan Bongino Files for Clawson's Florida Seat". Newsmax. Newsmax Media, Inc. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Unofficial 2014 Gubernatorial General Election results for Representative in Congress, Congressional District 6". The State Board of Elections. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ "2012 Presidential General Election Results, U.S. Senator". The State Board of Elections. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Learn About Daniel Bongino for U.S. Senate". Archived from the original on August 8, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d Pershing, Ben (June 1, 2011). "Ex-Secret Service agent Bongino enters race to unseat Cardin". The Washington Post. 
  6. ^ Fritze, John (28 November 2013). "Dan Bongino captures national attention as he campaigns in Md". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Former Secret Service Agent Explains The 'Open Rebellion' Against DC Politics". The Daily Caller. 19 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Bongino wins Republican primary for Maryland Senate seat". WMAR-TV. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Maryland Senate Election Results 2012 – Map, County Results, Live Updates". POLITICO. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Lazarick, Len. "Maryland has least compact congressional districts in nation". Maryland Reporter. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  11. ^ West endorses Bongino's bid September 20, 2013 Political Notes by Bethany Rodgers Frederick News-Post Staff
  12. ^ Allen West Offers First Round of Endorsements for 2013 and 2014 Elections by Kevin Derby October 10, 2013 Sunshine State News
  13. ^ Everett, Burgess. "Rand Paul aims high in blue Maryland". Politico. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Hernández, Arelis R. (31 October 2014). "In Maryland's eight congressional races, incumbents face little competition". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 November 2014. According to the highly regarded Cook Political Report, each incumbent is heavily favored to win 
  15. ^ "Maryland House results -- 2014 Election Center -- Elections and Politics from CNN.com". 
  16. ^ Derby, Kevin (May 20, 2015). "Conservative Dan Bongino Mulls Bid for Patrick Murphy's Seat". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 21, 2015. 
  17. ^ Derby, Kevin (November 6, 2015). "Conservative Dan Bongino Ponders Entering Senate Race". Sunshine State News. Retrieved August 11, 2016. 
  18. ^ staff (June 6, 2016). "Dan Bongino Ready to Run for Congress in Southwest Florida". Sunshine State News. Retrieved August 11, 2016. 
  19. ^ a b "Florida congressional candidate goes on tirade against reporter". 
  20. ^ ""Constitutional Conservatives" PAC airs ad against Goss, Bongino". 
  21. ^ Glorioso, Alexandra (August 30, 2016). "Francis Rooney wins GOP primary for Southwest Florida House". Naples Daily News. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Inside Groundswell: Read the Memos of the New Right-Wing Strategy Group Planning a "30 Front War"". Mother Jones. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  23. ^ Ex secret service agent blasts obama 2013 Frontpage Mag
  24. ^ video.foxnews.com/v/5440872756001/
  25. ^ https://www.facebook.com/amber.j.phillps. "Florida Man loses his cool on the campaign trail, drops more than one f-bomb on reporter". Washington Post. 
  26. ^ "Dan Bongino Explains Why He Went on Profanity-Laced Rant Against Politico Reporter". 23 August 2016. 
  27. ^ News, A. B. C. (7 November 2013). "Watching Obamacare Debate Led Secret Service Agent to GOP". ABC News. 
  28. ^ https://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2013/12/09/conservative-former-secret-service-agent-defends-obama-at-heritage-foundation
  29. ^ video.foxnews.com/v/5461253257001/
  30. ^ "Former Secret Service agent blasts 'toxic' administration". Page Six. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  31. ^ "Secret Service Agent Turns on Obama, Runs for Congress". ABC News. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  32. ^ Joynt, Carol Ross. "What It's Like Protecting the President: Former Secret Service Agent Dan Bongino Tells His Tale". Washingtonian. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  33. ^ "New York Times Best Sellers Espionage". March 2016. 
  34. ^ "Getting to Know Dan Bongino – Crofton, MD Patch". Archived from the original on April 13, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  35. ^ a b Glorioso, Alexandra; Williams, Amy Bennett (August 23, 2016). "Former Secret Service agent Bongino makes third bid for political office". Naples Daily News. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Daniel Bongino – Thank you to all of the people who have... - Facebook". Facebook. April 24, 2015. 
  37. ^ Turque, Bill (May 21, 2015). "Bongino moves to Florida, where political outlook may be sunnier". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Florida House Races Results". Politico. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  39. ^ "Unofficial 2014 Gubernatorial General Election results for Representative in Congress". The State Board of Elections. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 19, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Official 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election results for Representative in Congress, Congressional District 6". The State Board of Elections. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Official 2012 Presidential General Election results for U.S. Senator". The State Board of Elections. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 
  42. ^ "2012 Presidential Primary Election Results". The State Board of Elections. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Michael Steele
Republican nominee for Senator from Maryland
(Class 1)

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