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Endorsed by business group, Baltimore County executive candidate Redmer blasts Olszewski on taxes

As he picked up an endorsement from a pro-business group Thursday, Baltimore County executive candidate Al Redmer Jr. blasted his opponent, Johnny Olszewski Jr., for previously voting for tax increases.

“I’m a business guy. That’s what I do, that’s how I think,” said Redmer, a Republican, as he accepted an endorsement from Maryland Business for Responsive Government.

Redmer holds a lifetime 89 percent rating from the group from his time as a state delegate, while Olszewski, a Democrat, has 37 percent rating from his tenure as a state delegate.

Redmer criticized Olszewski for dozens of votes to raise taxes, fees and tolls in the House of Delegates — repeating the same theme as a mailer he sent out to county voters this week.

The Olszewski campaign responded that he voted against increases to gasoline, alcohol and sales taxes, and also opposed toll increases, which aren’t set by state lawmakers.

Olszewski issued a statement saying of Redmer: “It’s not surprising to see him supported by an organization that has opposed earned sick leave and stood against Maryland’s fracking ban. We’re proud to stand with the working families of Baltimore County.”

Olszewski also criticized Redmer for going ahead with a news conference about the endorsement while an investigation continued into a fatal workplace shooting in neighboring Harford County. Redmer, at the start of his remarks, said “our prayers are with the victims and their families, as well as the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and all of the first responders who answered that difficult call today.”

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