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Baltimore County executive candidate Joseph Bartenfelder can make another entry to his list of labor endorsements, as the Baltimore Building & Construction Trades Council -- an organization of 15 locals -- announced its support on Wednesday.

Leonard "Bud" Schuler, vice president of the group that includes the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 486, the Painters District Council 51 and the Teamsters Local 311, said the 15-member executive board's vote was based largely on the experience of working with Bartenfelder during his 16 years on the County Council, and before that when he served in the Maryland House of Delegates.

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"Nothing against Kevin," said Schuler, referring to Bartenfelder's chief opponent for the Democratic nomination, fellow council member Kevin Kamenetz, "but Joe has been our go-to guy since he's been in the General Assembly."

He could not specify anything Bartenfelder had done to support organized labor, but he described Bartenfelder — whose family runs a farm in Fullerton — as a "middle of the road type of politician. He respects business and labor."Bartenfelder and Kamenetz, both on the council since 1994, will appear on the Democratic primary ballot with Ron Harvey, who filed as a candidate on the deadline day, July 6. Kenneth Holt is the only candidate for the Republican nomination.

Check out our print story about Bartenfelder's labor endorsements.

Bartenfelder has compiled several union endorsements in the last few weeks, including the Baltimore County Professional Firefighters Association, the Maryland State United Auto Workers and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 27. Kamenetz has been endorsed by the Teachers Association of Baltimore County and the Laborers International Union of North America.

Significant labor endorsements yet to come are the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4, which may not be announced until late this month or next, and the Metropolitan Baltimore Council AFL-CIO, an organization of more than 180 locals, which is expected to announce Thursday night. All 15 locals in the Baltimore Building & Construction Trades Council are affiliated with the Metropolitan Baltimore Council.

Neither Holt nor Harvey has any announced organized labor endorsements so far.

-Arthur Hirsch

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