By Sarah Malik and Jacob Stolzenbach
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writers
Insisting that “politics will never get in the way of progress,” Democrat Johnny Olszewski Jr. claimed victory as Baltimore County Executive Tuesday night at the Sheraton Inn in Towson.
Olszewski received 174,711 votes compared to the 129,427 ballots cast for Republican Al Redmer Jr.
“Our campaign is now a movement to build a better Baltimore County,” said Olszewski to campaign supporters, adorned in orange and blue. “We will take ideas no matter where they come from. Politics will never get in the way of progress, here in Baltimore County.”
Olszewski, a Dundalk native, works for a software firm headquartered in North Carolina but taught seven years at a Baltimore County high school. He campaigned on the promise to restore the infrastructure of Baltimore County schools and set a 1:18 teacher-student ratio so that students can receive “individualized attention.” In addition, he said he would hire more teachers and increase teacher salary.
Susan Lobas, a campaign volunteer, said she gladly supports Olszewski’s message.
“I really like Johnny O and what he stands for,” Lobas said. “He wants to fix schools and the environment. Being a teacher, I feel he is genuine and he has our best interest at heart.”
The Redmer campaign showed signs of cautious optimism throughout the night. His supporters wore yellow shirts.
“I only made one promise, and that was we were going to run the most organized, energetic and competitive campaign for Baltimore County executive in a generation,” Redmer said. “We did, in fact, run the most competitive election in a generation.”
Between Jan. 12, 2017, and Oct. 21, 2018, Olszewski raised $1.6 million from individual and corporate donors. By Election Day, that total had exceeded $2 million.
In comparison, Redmer raised nearly $505,000 between August and October, with more than $450,000 given by county businesses and residents. He set a fundraising record for a Republican candidate running for Baltimore County executive when campaign donations surpassed $1 million.
Republican candidate running for Baltimore County executive.
Johnny Olszewski Sr., the victor’s father, expressed admiration for his son’s commitment to county residents.
“The way the numbers are going, I’m feeling optimistic,” said the senior Olszewski, a former congressman for Baltimore County. “He’s reached out all across Baltimore County to see what their concerns are. We have a good Baltimore County but we want it better. It’s important for him to have an open and transparent government.”
In his victory speech, candidate Olszewski said that he thankful for his supporters.
“I believed in Baltimore County, and I believed in each and every one of you.” Olszewski said. “In turn, you believed in me. We did it because of each and every one of you.”