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Vote Johnny O for the sake of your wallet

Democrat John Olszewski, Jr. announces his intent to run for the open Baltimore County Executive seat. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Sometimes choosing a candidate comes down to common sense. Or dollars and cents. It is clear why Johnny Olszewski Jr. is best for Baltimore County ("Olszewski criticizes teachers union endorsement of Almond in Baltimore County executive race," March 29).

In 2007, the Maryland General Assembly had the opportunity to pass new tax reform legislation that lowered the effective tax rate for the majority of Marylanders. Under the bill, middle class Marylanders received an income tax cut, with a slight increase for upper class families and corporations. The bill passed with a majority of Democrats supporting it.

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Voting for a middle class tax cut is important policy and clearly benefits working families. Some legislators surprisingly opposed this legislation, including state Sen. Jim Brochin, a fiscally conservative Democrat who is now running for Baltimore County executive. By not supporting this measure, Senator Brochin voted to put a regressive burden on the backs of most families, instead of making certain that the wealthy pay their fair share.

Senator Brochin has consistently opposed important legislation for our middle class citizens. Whether it's progressive tax reform, a higher minimum wage, or paid sick leave, he has worked against such important reforms. As recently as this year, Mr. Brochin voted against earned sick leave, a measure favored by 74 percent of Marylanders. It easily overcame Gov. Larry Hogan's veto.

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Former Delegate Olszewski, another county executive candidate, has championed these proposals and other legislation for working families. Unlike Mr. Brochin, the delegate nicknamed "Johnny O" voted for tax reform in 2007, has consistently supported a higher minimum wage and served as the primary sponsor for paid sick leave. That is one of the many reasons why so many unions, including SEIU and LIUNA, have endorsed Mr. Olszewski in this race. His record has been constant and focused for almost a decade and demonstrated through a wide array of bills.

Another candidate is Councilwoman Vicki Almond, who never took any action to ease the tax burden on most of our county citizens during her elected tenure. Her failure extends over her eight years in office.

As Baltimore County voters prepare to go to the polls on June 26, they'll be thinking about who will be their biggest advocate, fighting for better wages and needed benefits. They'll wisely consider who has consistently served the people. Of course, the only choice is Johnny O.

Barrie Friedland

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