Baltimore County executive race: Redmer attacks McDonough in new TV ad

State Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Jr. began running television ads Wednesday in the Republican primary race for Baltimore County executive.

The ad attacks Redmer’s opponent, state Del. Patrick L. McDonough. It calls Redmer “Republicans’ best choice.”

The spot will target likely Republican primary voters, running on cable only — mostly Fox News, Redmer campaign spokeswoman Hannah Marr said. It will air countywide through primary election day, which is June 26.

The ad buy cost roughly $16,000, she said.

What the ad says:

The 30-second ad opens with the line, “Two candidates, two very different records,” and continues with a series of photos — images of Redmer in color and McDonough in black and white.

The ad describes Redmer as “a proven businessman” and McDonough as “a career politician who doesn’t show up for the job taxpayers pay him to do.” It says McDonough pays for a Cadillac he drives out of his campaign account.

Finally, the ad notes that Redmer has the endorsement of Gov. Larry Hogan, and that McDonough was the only Republican to support overriding a Hogan veto, a school construction bill.

The facts:

McDonough was elected to the House of Delegates in 1978. He served one term at that time, then returned in 2003 and has served since then. He has experience in the private sector, including many years as a radio talk show host and producer.

Redmer has run businesses and has also spent years in government. He served in the House of Delegates from 1991 to 2003 and is now in his second stint as state insurance commissioner.

Figures provided by the Redmer campaign show that during the 2018 session, McDonough was absent for 179 out of 306 votes in the House Health and Government Operations Committee on which he serves.

McDonough’s campaign finance records show the campaign made multiple payments to GM Financial to lease his vehicle.

McDonough did vote with Democrats in April to override Hogan’s veto of a bill to overhaul the process for approving the construction and renovation of schools.

In response to the ad, McDonough dismissed the allegations as the “same old stuff.” McDonough said he had some sick days in the last session but has a solid attendance record in Annapolis.

The delegate said he researched different options for leasing a vehicle for the campaign and the Cadillac SUV was the best deal. McDonough said it’s necessary to have a vehicle to drive to campaign events across the large county.

Analysis:

Ads from the Democratic candidates in the county executive race have been largely biographical, but this GOP ad jumps straight to attack mode. It seeks to present contrasting pictures of Redmer and McDonough.

The piece portrays Redmer as a responsible businessman, and someone Republicans can trust.

The ad also plays up Redmer’s support from Hogan, which has been a central theme since the beginning of his campaign.

Baltimore Sun reporter Pamela Wood contributed to this article.

alisonk@baltsun.com

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