John Sarbanes

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John Sarbanes
John Sarbanes official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2007
Preceded byBen Cardin
Personal details
BornJohn Peter Spyros Sarbanes
(1962-05-22) May 22, 1962 (age 56)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Dina Caplan
RelativesPaul Sarbanes (father)
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)

John Peter Spyros Sarbanes /ˈsɑːrˌbnz/ (born May 22, 1962) is an American politician who is the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 3rd congressional district, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes the state capital of Annapolis, central portions of the city of Baltimore, and parts of Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, and Baltimore counties.

Early life, education and career[edit]

John Sarbanes is the eldest son of former U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes (who represented the 3rd from 1971 to 1977) and Christine Dunbar Sarbanes, a teacher. He was born in Baltimore, having Greek origin on his father's side and English on his mother's,[1] and graduated from the Gilman School there in 1980.[2] He received a B.A., cum laude, from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1984 and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, where he was co-chair of the Law School Democrats, in 1988.[2]

After college, Sarbanes clerked with Baltimore Judge J. Frederick Motz on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.[3] Sarbanes spent his professional legal career at the law firm of Venable LLP in Baltimore from 1989 to 2006, where he was chair of health care practice from 2000 to 2006 and a member of the hiring committee from 1992 to 1996.[2]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus Memberships[edit]

Environmental education[edit]

Congressman Sarbanes has introduced H.R. 2054, the No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI). This Act seeks to both improve education in the nation's public schools and to protect the environment by "creating a new environmental education grant program, providing teacher training for environmental education, and including environmental education as an authorized activity under the Fund for the Improvement of Education."[7] NCLI also requires states that participate in the environmental education grant programs to develop a plan to ensure that high school graduates are environmentally literate. This legislation is supported by a "coalition of over 1200 local, regional, and national organizations representing millions of concerned citizens who are anxious to see a new commitment to environmental education."[7]

Political campaigns[edit]

John Sarbanes at his swearing-in ceremony gesturing towards his father on the far left, former Senator Paul Sarbanes

Sarbanes sought the Democratic nomination for Maryland's 3rd congressional district after 10-term incumbent Ben Cardin gave up the seat to run for the Senate seat of John Sarbanes' father, Paul Sarbanes. The primary campaign included State Senator Paula Hollinger, former Baltimore City Health Commissioner Peter Beilenson, and former Maryland Democratic Party Treasurer Oz Bengur. Sarbanes won the nomination on September 12, 2006 with 31.9% of the vote. His Republican opponent in the general election was Annapolis marketing executive John White. However, the 3rd is a heavily Democratic district that has been in that party's hands since 1927, and few expected Sarbanes to have much difficulty in the election. Sarbanes also benefited from name recognition; his father represented the district from 1971 to 1977. On November 7, 2006, Sarbanes won the general election with 64% of the vote, while White received 34% of the vote and Libertarian Charles Curtis McPeek received 2%. He has been reelected four times with no substantive opposition.

Sarbanes and Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon cut the parade ribbon at the 2007 Baltimore Greek Independence Day Parade.

Campaign finance[edit]

In the 2008 election cycle, the Sarbanes campaign's income totaled $1,012,936 and his campaign spent $799,506.[8] His top individual contributor was Veneble LLP ($38,854),[8] which is where he spent his professional legal career for 18 years (1989–2006), "represent[ing] non-profit hospitals and senior living providers in their mission to deliver high quality care to the people of Maryland." [7] Other top contributors included Johns Hopkins University, Gordon Feinblatt et al., Chesapeake Partners Management, DLA Piper, and the Carpenters & Joiners Union.[8] The top sectors that contributed money to his campaign were Finance/Insurance/Real Estate, Lawyers & Lobbyists, Labor, and Health.[8] The top industries that contributed to Sarbanes' campaign include: Lawyers, Real Estate, Education, and Health Professionals.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Sarbanes lives in Towson, Maryland, with his three children and wife Dina Eve Caplan, whom he met at Harvard and married in 1988.[3][9]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "John P. Sarbanes, U.S. Representative". Maryland State Archives. Archived from the original on 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
  3. ^ a b "Biography of Congressman John Sarbanes". Office of Congressman John Sarbanes. Archived from the original on 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
  4. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "John Sarbanes Official Biography".
  8. ^ a b c d e "Representative John P. Sarbanes (MD)". Project Vote Smart.
  9. ^ "Dina Eve Caplan, Lawyer, to Marry". The New York Times. August 21, 1988. Retrieved 2007-04-22.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ben Cardin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 3rd congressional district

January 3, 2007 – present
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Peter Roskam
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Adrian Smith