Birthdate: Feb. 14, 1960
Birth Place: Fort Leavenworth, KS, United States
Residence: Potomac, MD
Rob Sobhani was born in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and now lives in Potomac, Md. He attended Georgetown University where he earned a bachelor's in finance and a master's and a doctorate in economics.
Sobhani worked at Riggs National Bank while attending school. He is an entrepreneur who is chairman and chief executive officer of Caspian Group Holdings. He heads a group of companies with international business in energy, infrastructure development, technology and publishing.
Sobhani's parents emigrated from Iran to the United States.
He is married and has two children.
Rob Sobhani is an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate in Maryland. He entered the race in September 2012. Sobhani says his entry was delayed because he had to collect 37,000 signatures to get on the ballot, which took about three months.
Despite his late entry in a race that had primaries in April, the entrepreneur created a buzz by quickly getting a series of television ads on the air ahead of his Democratic and Republican opponents, using his own money to fund the advertisements.
A former Republican, Sobhani says he decided to become an independent around 2002, after concluding that too many members of both parties had become out of touch and forgotten why they were in office. He also criticizes the two main parties for failing to create a vision for the future.
Sobhani told The Associated Press in a late September 2012 interview that he decided to run because he thinks the nation's political system is broken.
He says he's spent about $3 million so far in advertising for his Senate bid.
While Sobhani says he believes there are good people in both parties, he says too many lawmakers are putting party loyalty ahead of the best interests of the country.
Sobhani says that if elected he would work with both parties to find the best way to create jobs.
"The point is I am not going to be beholden to any political party," Sobhani said. "I am truly going to be independent."
He believes the best way to boost job growth in Maryland is to increase exports, and he says he doesn't need Democrats or Republicans to do it.
Sobhani says he would use his background as an entrepreneur with international experience to bring jobs and investments back to the United States.
Maryland is a strong location to attract business from overseas, Sobhani says, because it is home to institutions like Johns Hopkins, as well as federal government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health.
Sobhani says one of his goals in office would be to sign a billion dollars in contracts overseas for small, medium and large Maryland companies.
He also wants to invest in infrastructure in Maryland to boost jobs.
"It would be focusing razor sharp on business," Sobhani said, describing his overall plans for what he would bring to a Senate term.
Sobhani also has been critical of the two main party candidates in the race for not allowing him to debate with them.
"It's denying the people of Maryland the opportunity to hear how we can grow our economy," Sobhani said.
Source: Associated Press