Democratic candidates for Baltimore County executive rolled out endorsements on Thursday as their race heats up.
Candidate Vicki Almond secured the endorsement from the Teachers Association of Baltimore County — a valuable endorsement because it traditionally brings the support of thousands of educators.
Meanwhile, candidate Jim Brochin was endorsed by Attorney General Brian Frosh, a popular liberal figure within the state Democratic Party.
The teachers' union endorsement process was somewhat controversial, as rival Johnny Olszewski Jr. challenged the vote that picked Almond over him and questioned whether the union had a quorum. The vote was taken in late March, but TABCO did not initially announce the results and said it would review the decision this week.
Olszewski, a former state delgate, noted that Almond's campaign previously hired a direct-mail company run by the son of TABCO president Abby Beytin. Beytin also made campaign donations to Almond in 2015 and 2016.
Almond, a current County Council member, said she hadn't used the direct-mail agency since 2013 and that's she's long been an advocate for public schools.
TABCO's announcement endorsing Almond on Thursday did not mention the earlier disputes over the endorsement process.
"We're excited that so many strong advocates for public education are running and today we are recommending a wonderful group of candidates who will be champions for our schools, students, community and educators," Beytin said in a statement.
TABCO also endorsed incumbent County Council members Tom Quirk, a Catonsville Democrat; Julian Jones, a Woodstock Democrat; David Marks, a Perry Hall Republican; and Cathy Bevins, a Middle River Democrat. The union also endorsed several school board candidates: Matt Gresick, Cheryl E. Pasteur, Paul V. Konka, Tara Huffman, Kathleen White, Peter Beilenson, Edward Kitlowski, Eric C. Washington and Rod McMillion.
Meanwhile, Frosh joined Brochin in Towson on Thursday afternoon to announce his endorsement.
When Frosh as a state senator, he chaired the Judicial Proceedings Committee, where Brochin served as one of the members.
Frosh said he respected Brochin for listening to testimony in the committee, weighing arguments and making decisions based on what he thought was right.
"I think he's a man of principle," Frosh said.
Brochin often is painted as an independent and sometimes conservative-leaning Democrat. But he has also stressed his votes in support of issues such as same-sex marriage and environmental protection.
Frosh is considered one of the more liberal elected Democrats in Maryland.
"While Jim and I disagreed on some issues, we agreed on many more," Frosh said.
Meanwhile, Olszewski also offered up another of his endorsements on Thursday, from the Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades Unions. Olszewski has secured several endorsements from labor unions and members of the House of Delegates.