“Ben is one of the good guys” is how President Barack Obama began his letter of endorsement for Sen. Cardin to be re-elected for his seat in Congress.

“He has the courage to stand up for what he believes and he works for solution to the most important issues,” the President continued. “That’s why I need your help keeping Ben Cardin in the U.S. Senate.”

He encouraged constituents to make calls and knock on doors to make that happen.

Admitting that he was obviously flattered by the early endorsement, Cardin said,

“I think it’s probably a little bit earlier than it would normally be announced, and I think the president is clearly doing that because of the Maryland filing deadlines being early.”

Candidates in Maryland must file by Jan. 11. The primary is April 3.

Cardin has been in Congress since 1987 and has been outspoken on issues of health care, retirement security, the environment and fiscal issues.

His present responsibility includes service on the Environment and Public Works (EPW), Finance, Foreign Relations, Budget and Small Business & Entrepreneurship committees. He chairs the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee of EPW and he chairs the International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee.