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Redmer and Olszewski Debate Thornton

John Lee

The two candidates for Baltimore County Executive debated everything from education to circuses Thursday morning. 



During the live forum on WOLB Radio, Democrat Johnny Olszewski criticized Republican Al Redmer for voting against the Thornton school funding plan in 2002 when Redmer was a legislator.


“Which is the preeminent piece of funding which has put hundreds of millions of dollars into Baltimore County Schools,” Olszewski said.


Redmer defended the vote, saying he supports funding education but opposes budget mandates.


“When you keep increasing mandates, you lose the percentage of discretionary dollars that are available,” Redmer said.


Also, Olszewski promised to allow the African-American owned UniverSoul Circus to come to town. Last year, a proposed ban on all circuses was withdrawn following concerns that would make UniverSoul strike its tents. 


Olszewski said he was campaigning outside the circus at Security Square Mall earlier this year and saw the excitement of the people attending.


“I would be absolutely committed as Baltimore County Executive to ensure that  UniverSoul Circus were to continue here in Baltimore County,” Olszewski said.


Redmer said he was unaware of the issue. 


“I apologize. I just didn’t hear it,” Redmer said.


Both candidates promised to have a diverse administration. Redmer said he has a record of diversity hiring in the businesses he has run and in his current position as state insurance commissioner.


“We have a significant percentage of minority and diverse employees,” Redmer said.


Redmer and Olszewski will face off again on the radio. This time it will be on WYPR’s Midday program, this coming Monday, October 22, at noon.


John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2
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