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Sun Editorial Page Editor Andy Green discusses the endorsement of John Olszewski for Baltimore County Executive in the Democratic primary. (The Baltimore Sun video)

Your endorsement of John Olszewski in the Baltimore County executive race left me disheartened (“Democrat John Olszewski for Baltimore County executive,” June 14). You have embraced a person who suddenly calls himself a “progressive” despite his votes against the state’s assault weapons ban, against stem cell research, against a woman’s right to choose and against medical marijuana. You say these issues won’t come before him as county executive, but you ignore a larger question of character. Mr. Olszewski has demonstrated that he has no problem taking whatever vote is necessary to win an election. His new “progressive” vision is the latest example of that.

By contrast, Sen. Jim Brochin has spent 16 years in the legislature as a consistently independent voice who casts his votes based on what he believes is right for his constituents. He didn’t wake up yesterday and decide he is a socially progressive Democrat; he’s always been one. While you acknowledge Senator Brochin’s “fierce” independence while serving his diverse district, you illogically state that it won’t play well in a diverse county. Why not? Don’t all county residents deserve a leader who is willing to do what’s right regardless of party affiliation?

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Senator Brochin’s No. 1 platform position is to stop the pay-to-play system that has controlled the county for decades. I trust that he will actually do what he says, because unlike Mr. Olszewski, he isn’t running from his past. He’s running to be a county executive you can rely on.

John Patterson, Towson

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