Maryland Politics: Holt comes out swinging at Kamenetz

Kenneth C. Holt, the Republican candidate for Baltimore County executive , has fired the first shots of the general election campaign, saying his Democratic opponent , Kevin Kamenetz, ran an "ugly campaign" that was not relevant to the economic problems facing the county.

Holt, of Kingsville, who ran unopposed for his party's nomination in yesterday's primary, said this morning that Kamenetz's successful campaign against his fellow county councilman, Joseph Bartenfelder was "based on attack ads, false statements, a lot of information that was not honest. …There's no place for this in a time of economic crisis. If they don't think there's an economic crisis, they're not fit to lead."

Given that Kamenetz, a 52-year-old lawyer from Owings Mills, spent more than $1 million in the primary, Holt said his vote total amounts to a "poor performance."

A former member of the Maryland House of Delegates, Holt, 59, said the poor primary turnout of Democratic voters suggests that "Democrats are not too excited about their candidates, their prospects. Republicans are excited."

The investments executive said it seems an opportune time for the county to elect only its third Republican executive since the position was established as part of charter revision in the late 1950s. While Kamenetz has shown his strength as a fundraiser, Holt said he was not concerned about that.

"I don't see where money had any relevance to the outcomes," he said, pointing to a couple of strong low-budget primary campaigns by Republicans running for the County Council: Todd Huff against incumbent T. Bryan McIntire in District 3 and Ryan Nawrocki against Andrew Peet for an open seat in District 6.

"We are right and ready to win this election," said Holt. "No one should underestimate our ability to do so."

-Arthur Hirsch

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