August 19, 2019

Former Maryland Senate Staffer to return to ‘Jeopardy!’

After four victories and cash winnings totaling $105,602, former Maryland Senate Staffer Eric Backes will return to the popular ‘Jeopardy’ game show to appear in its annual Tournament of Champions this fall.

Legislative Director to current Senate President Pro Tempore Katherine Klausmeier from 2005 to 2013, Backes is well known in state government circles having also worked in legislative affairs positions with the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Maryland State Highway Administration, and the Maryland Transportation Authority from 2014 through the summer of 2018.

Originally from Wyckoff, New Jersey, Backes received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Rutgers University in 1999. While working as a Maryland Senate Staffer, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2012. In August 2018, Backes moved from Maryland and now resides in Orlando, Florida with his wife Bethany and daughters Emelia and Maeve.

Speaking to his initial appearance on the show, Backes stated: “Appearing as a contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ and meeting Alex Trebek have been lifelong dreams of mine. It’s definitely something that I’ll never forget.”

Asked about Backes, President Pro Tempore Klausmeier said: “Being a contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ is an amazing accomplishment. I’m so proud of Eric. He was a great help to me for many years and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

The 15-person Tournament of Champions will take place over 10 days from November 4th through November 15th and award $250,000 to the winner. Nationally syndicated, it will air in Annapolis on WBFF Fox 45. Additional information about the tournament and contestants can be found at