In Baltimore County, Olszewski gets support from former rival Almond

Baltimore County executive candidate Johnny Olszewski Jr. is getting some help from a former rival: County Councilwoman Vicki Almond.

Almond and her fellow Democratic members of the council and Democratic council candidates plan to endorse Olszewski during an event in Reisterstown on Wednesday morning.

Almond finished third in the closely contested Democratic primary for county executive that Olszewski won by a mere 17 votes after a recount.

“It was a tough primary. I think we all worked very hard and gave it our all,” Almond said. “Johnny and I certainly have much in common. Even during the debates, you could see that, you could hear that.”

Almond said she and Olszewski are particularly in sync on issues relating to public schools.

“I’m honored to have the councilwoman's endorsement in the race,” Olszewski said. “I think it’s significant.”

Almond believes she can help Olszewski in the western part of the county that she’s represented for eight years, and where she was active in school and community issues for decades before that. Olszewski is from Dundalk on the east side, which he represented for two terms in the House of Delegates.

Almond said she plans to make appearances with Olszewski and organize meet-and-greet events on his behalf. Over the weekend, the two marched together in a parade in Reisterstown, in Almond’s district.

And while Almond is backing Olszewski, the second-place finisher in the Democratic primary — state Sen. Jim Brochin — is not. Brochin has said he’s staying neutral in the county executive race.

A spokeswoman for Olszewski’s opponent, Al Redmer Jr., said voters should be “extremely concerned” that Almond and Olszewski are joining forces.

“The political machine that has been running Baltimore County politics for years appears to be well-greased, trying to inject their influence into the 2018 election,” Redmer spokeswoman Hannah Marr said in a statement.

Almond has been an ally of former Baltimore County Jim Smith, who is now a top aide to Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. Over the years, Smith has used a sizable campaign account to spend money on behalf of candidates he favors, including Almond.

Redmer, meanwhile, is not getting support from his primary opponent, state Del. Pat McDonough.

McDonough initially vowed never to back Redmer, and now says: “I won’t be opposing him or doing anything publicly against him, but I have not endorsed him.”

pwood@baltsun.com

twitter.com/pwoodreporter

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