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Unspun -- Del. Benjamin S. Barnes

"We can do it civilly"

An offbeat interview with a Maryland politician
Interview by John Wagner

Thumbnail image for Barnes.JPGName Ben Barnes
Party Democrat
Age 34
Home College Park
Position Delegate representing District 21 in Prince George's County

Which television show would you never miss growing up?
There were probably three shows I would never miss, some by choice and some by force. My mother would never let me miss "60 Minutes" or "MacNeil/Lehrer." My personal tastes were more along the lines of "Diff'rent Strokes" and "Night Rider."

BlackBerry or iPhone?
BlackBerry. It's just more functional for every day.

What's the last movie that was so good you saw it twice?
I've seen "Shawshank Redemption" probably 100 times, and "Field of Dreams" probably 500 times. I guess the last movie was the new Star Trek. I'm going to sound like such a geek.

What do you do to relax?
I play basketball and softball, go to the gym. Exercise is a big stress relief for me. I do a lot of backpacking.

What's the last song you downloaded to your iPod?
I still buy CDs. The most recent album I bought was that Jay-Z album.

Sonny.JPGWhat do your colleagues say about you behind your back?
I know some of them call me Sonny, the character from "The Godfather," because I feel so passionately, sometimes I can have a temper.

What has surprised you about your time in Annapolis?
The most pleasant surprise has been the camaraderie. Whether or not you agree on the issues, we can do it civilly.

What's atop your reading pile?
You know, during session, I'm not able to do much reading. ... A lot of what I read is historic biographies.

With which historic figure do you most identify?
My heroes are Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, John Lewis and Teddy Roosevelt.

What about you would most surprise fellow legislators?
I guess that I had long hair in college.

By John Wagner  |  March 26, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
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