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Al Redmer Jr., right, the Republican nominee for Baltimore County executive, called on his opponent, Johnny Olszewski Jr., to declare whether he supports his Democratic Party’s nominee for governor, Ben Jealous.
Al Redmer Jr., right, the Republican nominee for Baltimore County executive, called on his opponent, Johnny Olszewski Jr., to declare whether he supports his Democratic Party’s nominee for governor, Ben Jealous. (Pamela Wood / Pamela Wood)

Al Redmer Jr., the Republican nominee for Baltimore County executive, on Friday called on his opponent, Johnny Olszewski Jr., to declare whether he supports his Democratic Party’s nominee for governor, Ben Jealous.

Redmer’s call came after The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday that Jealous’ Twitter account “liked” a profanity-laced, anti-police tweet. The Jealous campaign said it was an accident by a staffer and removed the “like” on Tuesday.

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“I am shocked and dismayed that the Ben Jealous campaign would like such an egregious comment about police officers,” Redmer said in a statement that called on Olszewski to say whether he backs Jealous. The Maryland Republican Party put out a similar statement Friday calling on all Democrats to say whether they support Jealous.

Olszewski responded with his own statement: “I support our Democratic candidates — from the top of the ticket to the bottom — because I need a team who believes in and supports my vision for building a better Baltimore County.”

Olszewski’s statement did not name Jealous, but spokesman Sean Naron said “top of the ticket” refers to Jealous.

Olszewski’s statement also criticized Redmer’s tactic of pressuring him over Jealous as “politics as usual” from a candidate who he says lacks vision.

The Democratic nominee later posted a tweet that criticized the original anti-police tweet, saying: “Vulgar and divisive rhetoric simply has not place in our public discourse.”

Olszewski had not previously publicly offered support for Jealous, but has appeared with him at Democratic Party events.

This isn’t the first time Redmer has jumped on a Jealous error to needle Olszewski.

At that time, Naron said, “Johnny has been and will be focused on the race for Baltimore County executive.”

Jealous and Olszewski share some progressive policy positions, such as raising the minimum wage and expanding pre-kindergarten. But Jealous is less popular in the Baltimore region than Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

In a poll conducted this month by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies, Jealous had 27 percent support in Baltimore County compared to 63 percent support for Hogan.

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