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Baltimore County executive candidate Johnny Olszewski Jr., back row, second from left, joins a ribbon cutting at Padonia International Elementary in Cockeysville. The campaign of his opponent, Al Redmer, criticized Olszewski for attending the official county event as a candidate.
Baltimore County executive candidate Johnny Olszewski Jr., back row, second from left, joins a ribbon cutting at Padonia International Elementary in Cockeysville. The campaign of his opponent, Al Redmer, criticized Olszewski for attending the official county event as a candidate. (Pamela Wood / The Baltimore Sun)

On the final full day of campaigning before the general election, Baltimore County executive candidate Johnny Olszewski Jr.'s stops included a ribbon-cutting at a public school that drew criticism from his opponent.

Olszewski, the Democratic nominee, was a guest at Padonia International Elementary School in Cockeysville, where school and county officials celebrated a renovation and addition on Monday morning.

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Olszewski, a former state delegate, was not seated with dignitaries during the ceremony, but was invited onstage to cut a ceremonial ribbon with officials and students.

A spokeswoman for Republican nominee Al Redmer Jr. said Olszewski’s appearance at the school was inappropriate.

“Just another example that the political machine that has run Baltimore County for over a decade is doing everything it can to get Johnny O elected,” said Hannah Marr, Redmer’s spokeswoman. “The Olszewskis have never had a problem blurring the lines before, so maybe that’s how he’ll be as county executive.”

Olszewski’s father, John Olszewski Sr., is a former county councilman who retired from politics in 2014.

Olszewski said that as a former teacher and delegate it was appropriate for him to attend the school event. He’s been endorsed by the county teachers union and County Executive Don Mohler.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, Democratic challenger Ben Jealous and other candidates on Maryland ballots are engaging in a final blitz to persuade undecided voters and get their supporters to the polls. Hogan is rallying in Annapolis and Grasonville; Jealous in Wheaton and the Baltimore area.

“I’m a resident of the county. I believe it’s important to support the progress that’s being made and I’m a former teacher, I’m a former elected official. I was here to show my support for the progress that’s being made that we want to continue,” Olszewski said after the event.

Redmer and Olszewski both were traveling the county on Monday, attending events, greeting voters, doing media interviews and waving signs at busy intersections during rush hour.

They’re vying to succeed Mohler, who was appointed to the position in May following the sudden death of County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

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