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News Opinion Readers Respond

Herbst: 'Humbled and proud' to have Kamenetz's support [Letter]

Your editorial "Kamenetz the kingmaker" (May 22) was misguided conjecture based on a four-month-old campaign finance report.

As The Sun recently reported, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz transferred the vast majority of the funds in the A Better Baltimore County slate to another campaign in January — well before my campaign was ever listed as an affiliate.

Your editorial has mislead voters into believing that my campaign is some sort of surrogate for Mr. Kamenetz. I take issue with this implication, as I have been working extremely hard over the last two years to raise money in the form of campaign contributions from family, friends, colleagues, small business owners and, yes, some developers.

The county executive's recent endorsement of my campaign is a testament to these efforts, and I am both humbled and proud to have his support, which to date has not been financial in nature.

Regarding developer contributions, the reality is that every viable County Council campaign receives support from developers. My campaign and that of my opponent, County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, are no different, though Maryland campaign finance records reflect that her campaign has received significantly more developer contributions than mine. Ms. Almond also received more than $50,000 from one developer whose project she fast-tracked.

I would also like to point out that in the 2010 election, Ms. Almond enthusiastically accepted the support of some of the very same developers who are now supporting my campaign, and her campaign received the benefit of approximately $150,000 in funding from the District 11 Team slate, which was instrumental in her 2010 primary victory. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, her campaign has cried foul. I find this to be extremely hypocritical.

I have run a positive campaign and have tried to remain focused on the issues. Accusations about developer contributions are a distraction from the pressing concerns that need to be addressed in our district: Jobs, revitalization, public safety and education. That is where I am focused and will continue to remain focused.

Jon Herbst, Pikesville

The writer is a candidate for Baltimore County Council.

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