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Olszewski has more cash than Redmer in Baltimore County executive campaign

Democrat Johnny Olszewski Jr. has more campaign cash than Republican Al Redmer Jr. in Baltimore County executive campaign.
Democrat Johnny Olszewski Jr. has more campaign cash than Republican Al Redmer Jr. in Baltimore County executive campaign. (Pamela Wood / Baltimore Sun)

Democrat Johnny Olszewski Jr. has more than three times as much campaign cash to spend as Republican Al Redmer Jr. in their race for Baltimore County executive, according to fundraising tallies the candidates provided Tuesday.

Olszewski, who survived a bruising Democratic primary with a 17-vote victory over State Sen. Jim Brochin, reported that he has about $421,000 in the bank heading into the final months before the Nov. 6 general election. Most of the money is in his own campaign account, and some is in a slate account that benefits Olszewski and a couple of other candidates from Baltimore County.

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In a statement regarding the finance report, Olszewski said he was “humbled and thankful for the groundswell of support behind our campaign to build a better Baltimore County.”

Redmer has reported having a little more than $118,000 in the bank.

After three days of recounting paper ballots, Johnny Olszewski Jr. was affirmed as the winner of the Democratic primary for Baltimore County executive Saturday night.

Officials from Redmer’s campaign were not discouraged by Olszewski’s stronger fundraising numbers, saying they will have enough money to run a winning campaign.

“We’re not surprised by today’s reports,” Redmer spokeswoman Hannah Marr said in a statement. “Johnny ‘O’ is part of the old political machine that includes the same movers and shakers that have been funding county politicians for decades.”

Maryland campaigns were required to file their latest campaign finance reports by midnight Tuesday to the state Board of Elections. The reports cover campaign fundraising and expenses from June 11 — just before the June 26 primary election — through last week.

Redmer reported that he raised more than $195,000 from campaign contributors during that time period. He spent about $130,000, most of it on typical campaign expenses such as staff, fundraising, and newspaper, radio and digital advertising. He also spent money on brochures, direct mail and robo-calls, according to the campaign’s report.

Olszewski raised $563,000 between his main campaign account and the Baltimore County Future Slate during the 10-week reporting period, according to his campaign.

That’s about the same amount of money that Olszewski raised in all of 2017 and the first half of 2018.

In Baltimore County, county executive candidates Al Redmer Jr. and Johnny Olszewski Jr. again traded barbs over gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous.

Like Redmer, Olszewski spent some of his money on staff, office rent, fundraising and direct mail. But he spent significantly more than Redmer on advertising, putting down more than $250,000 on media, mostly in the final days of the primary campaign, for producing and airing radio and TV commercials.

Olszewski also loaned his campaign $20,000 one week before the June primary election.

Olszewski, a former teacher and state delegate from Dundalk, is facing Redmer, the state insurance commissioner from Middle River, in the race to lead Maryland’s third-largest jurisdiction.

The winner will succeed County Executive Don Mohler, who was appointed to the job in May when County Executive Kevin Kamenetz died from cardiac arrest. Mohler is finishing Kamenetz’s term, which runs through December.

The general election is scheduled for Nov. 6, with early voting beginning Oct. 25.

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