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Four file to challenge Kamenetz in Baltimore County

With one day left for candidates to file for the 2014 election, four men had signed up as of Monday to challenge Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

The former chairman of the county Republican Party and the father of a dog-bite victim are among those who plan to run against Kamenetz, a Democrat. The primary election is set for June 24, with the general election in November. The filing deadline is 9 p.m. today.

Towson resident Tony Solesky, a painting contractor, is running as an unaffiliated candidate, meaning he must collect about 3,700 signatures to get onto the ballot, he said. Solesky has been an advocate for bite victims and lobbied legislators in Annapolis on the issue. In 2007, his son was attacked by a pit bull, and the family's lawsuit seeking restitution eventually led to a high-profile Maryland Court of Appeals decision that labeled pit bulls "inherently dangerous."

Two Republicans have filed. Tony Campbell, who chaired the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee, led the county party for less than a year, stepping down after members called for his ouster after clashes over his management style. He lives in Towson and teaches political science at Towson University. The other candidate, Gregory J. Prush, is a Pikesville resident.

Parkville resident Kevin Francis Marron is the only Democrat other than Kamenetz who has declared candidacy.

John Fiastro, chairman of the county Republican Party, said the race will give his party's candidates a chance to talk about the stormwater remediation fee enacted last year, a state-imposed charge dubbed the "rain tax" by its critics. Fiastro criticized Kamenetz for not opposing the fee.

"He could've fought it like Carroll County or Frederick County," he said. "It opens the door for Republican candidates to talk about a very unpopular rain tax, and the county executive is going to have to defend his record."

Kamenetz's administration has said the state required the fee and that it worked hard to keep the fee low for property owners.

Kamenetz was elected in 2010, defeating Republican businessman Ken Holt. According to his most recent campaign finance report, he has more than $1 million on hand for the campaign.

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