Wolf Becoming Star in Baltimore County

Craig Wolf is becoming a rock star here in Baltimore County. The Republican nominee for Attorney General has an uphill battle against current Democratic Attorney Gen. Brian Frosh. Polls in August showed Wolf down by 32 points but a poll last week showed Wolf only down nine points. He has really hit Frosh hard about not protecting the citizens of Maryland but instead worrying about suing President Donald Trump’s federal government.

Craig Wolf (second on the left) attended the “Three Joes” event last Friday with Councilman David Marks, Del. Joe Cluster, Del. candidates Joe Boteler & Joe Norman and state Senate candidate Del. Christian Miele.

Last Friday, Wolf attended a fundraiser for Sen. John Salling in Essex and later went to a fundraiser in Perry Hall for the “Three Joes” (Del. Joe Cluster, Joe Boteler and Joe Norman) in District 8. Wolf was a big hit with the crowd as many of the attendees posed for pictures with Wolf. I have also seen him at GOP County Executive nominee Al Redmer events and other Republican candidate events.

I talked to Wolf at the “Three Joes” event and asked him why he is always in Baltimore County. He responded that Baltimore County is a “make or break” jurisdiction for his chance to defeat Frosh. I agree. Gov. Larry Hogan is polling at 63 to 37 percent in Baltimore County against Ben Jealous and Redmer has an opportunity to win the Country Executive’s race. Wolf will need all those Hogan and Redmer voters to cast a vote for him too.

This reminds me of 2014 when Hogan was down big early to Anthony Brown. Later, Hogan narrowed the gap within a week or two of Election Day. Then Hogan’ s campaign caught fire and he flew pass Brown in the final week.

I am starting to see similarities with Wolf. I thought Wolf had a chance to win in March, then lost confidence after the first poll showed him down by 32, and now I’m starting to see him catch fire in the final three weeks. I’m hoping that Wolf pulls it off.

GOP Chair Reveals Internal Poll Number to Red Maryland

I reported on Tuesday that MD GOP Dick Haire was a guest on the Red Maryland Podcast on Monday to share GOP internal poll numbers for some of the key state Senate races. Again, I was critical when the Democrats released their poll showing Democrat John Olszewski up by 19 in the Baltimore County Executive race over Republican Al Redmer. I took it with a huge grain of salt considering the poll since it was a month old and an internal poll.
So, I won’t be a hypocrite and claim these GOP numbers are 100 percent accurate, but I did find it interesting that some Republican candidates are doing better than others.
Haire did not release specific numbers but revealed the closeness of the races. The full interview can be heard at Red Maryland, but I have written the cliff notes below on Haire’s breakdown on the races.

District 3
This district appears to be a close. District 3 has changed a lot of its demographics over the past 10 years. That has favored Democrats and Democratic Sen. Ron Young. The GOP poll shows that GOP challenger Craig Giangrande “has narrowed the gap” within the margin of error. I’m assuming that Young is up by three to four.

District 42
Haire revealed that Del. Chris West has a large lead over Democrat Robbie Leonard for Democrat Jim Brochin’s vacant senate seat in northern Baltimore County. I thought Brochin would have had a heck of a battle to keep his seat against West if he ran for re-election, so I don’t think Leonard will get in West’s way.

District 8
Haire said that both West and Del. Christian Miele had “significant leads” in their senate races. Again, I think West easily defeats the Democrat in District 42, but I thought Miele would be in a tight race against Democratic Incumbent Sen. Kathy Klausmeier in northeast Baltimore County. If Miele has a “significant” lead it is because he is a campaign machine. Miele did not have a primary, but he ran like he had a primary in the spring. According to Haire, Miele is in great shape.

District 12
In a bit of a surprise, The GOP said its challenger Joe Hooe is “holding a slight lead over” Del. Clarence Lam for Democrat Ed Kasemeyer’s vacant seat in Howard County. Haire did not report the specific numbers, but Maryland Matters cited a GOP poll where Hooe is beating Lam 39 to 32. This is a change when Lam was up over Hooe 48 to 30 in August. Maryland Matters believes that the popularity of Gov. Larry Hogan is helping Hooe.

District 28
Haire said this Southern Maryland district came into play when Democratic Sen. Mac Middleton was upset by Democratic challenger Arthur Ellis. This got the ball rolling where the GOP central committee nominated Bill Dotson as their nominee after the primary. He said Dotson “Looked very strong” in the race but did not explain if Dotson was “up or down” in the polls.

District 30
Former Del. Ron George was reported with an eight-point lead over Democratic challenged Sarah K. Elfreth. This is the vacant seat left by Democratic Sen. John Arstle. I thought George would have a slam dunk victory in the Annapolis area district but Haire reported that polls show him with only a four-point lead over Elfreth in the summer. Now it looks like George is finally starting to distance himself from the Democrat.

District 32
Haire didn’t mention how GOP challenger and current councilman John Grasso was faring against Democratic Del. Pam Beidle for the vacant senate seat but did reveal that two Republicans were favored in their polling to take two vacant House of Delegate seats. Haire said he was “optimist” for Grasso in that senate race in northwest Anne Arundel County.

District 38
Haire admitted that the GOP underestimated Democratic Sen. Jim Mathieu “Higher and durable” name ID, despite being in a strong Republican district in his Eastern Shore race against GOP challenger Del. Mary Beth Carozza
Haired said Carozza’s numbers have significantly increased and the race is now a “dead heat”.

MD GOP Claims Redmer is Leading in Their Poll

MD GOP chairman Dirk Haire joined Red Maryland Podcast on Monday to share GOP internal poll numbers for some of the key state Senate races. I will have more on those senate races on Wednesday, but he did release some GOP data on the County Executive Race between Democrat John Olszewski and GOP challenger Al Redmer.

According to Haire, who did not release specific numbers, Redmer is leading Olszewski by high single digits. I’m assuming Redmer is up in the GOP poll around 8 to 9 points. Haire added that the GOP poll has been taken within the last week.

When the Democrats released their poll showing Olszewski up by 19 over Republican Redmer, I took it with a huge grain of salt considering the poll is over a month old.

So I won’t be a hypocrite and claim these GOP numbers are 100 percent accurate but I did find it interesting that the GOP has a different result in this race than the Democratic poll.

Again, can we get an independent poll from a non-partisan group on this County Executive Race or we just might have to wait until Nov. 7

Is Olszewski Really Up By 19 Points?

Maryland Matters sent a few shockwaves throughout Baltimore County this morning when they reported on a poll that Democratic Baltimore County Executive candidate John Olszewski, Jr. had a 19-point lead over GOP nominee Al Redmer, Jr.

A representative from the Olszewski campaign immediately shared the Maryland Matters article on the popular Facebook page “Baltimore County Politics”. The poll showed Olszewski winning 53 to 34 percent. However; Maryland Matters reported that the poll was conducted between Sept. 6 to 11 and that it was a “Democratic Poll” .
Redmer downplayed the poll by releasing a statement on social media.

“In a desperate attempt to generate a decent headline and reinvigorate their dried up donor base the Olszewski campaign released a month old poll that is in no way accurate at the present time. We’ve beaten Olszewski to mail and TV, and our polling shows we have successfully closed the gap in just a few weeks,” Redmer said.

“Our campaign has momentum, which is evident by the half-dozen major endorsements we’ve received over the last three weeks, as well as the voter enthusiasm and financial support we’ve accrued. As we close in on election day our positive message of fixing our schools and making Baltimore County safer and more affordable is resonating with voters, who are rejecting the dangerous Jealous/Olszewski agenda.”

The poll also reported that Olszewski is winning 49 percent to 35 percent “in the traditionally more conservative southeast portion of Baltimore County.” I’m not sure if the “southeast portion” is all of the 6th Legislative District, but Olszewski lost the senate race in the 6th District to current GOP Sen. Johnny Ray Salling 48 to 44 in 2014.

This race will come down to the 6th District. With Gov. Larry Hogan’s performance in 2014 and projected high numbers in 2018, Redmer must win in the Dundalk/Essex area. If Hogan is going to get around 60 percent of the vote countywide, Olszewski is going to need many of those Hogan voters to cast votes for him too. There are plenty of Hogan voters in the 6th District and that is why he is staying away from Ben Jealous.

So what is the truth? Maryland Matters has been known to lean to the left and why are they now reporting on a Democratic poll from September? I do believe that Olszewski was ahead in September, but not by 19 points. Again this was a Democratic poll. I also believe that Redmer has closed the gap with his mailers, television ads and recent endorsements from the Baltimore County Police and Fire unions.

Can the Baltimore Sun or Goucher College conduct an independent poll so we can see how this race truly stands?

Will Obama’s Endorsements Matter in Maryland?

Former President Barack Obama decided to enter Maryland Politics by endorsing Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous, Speaker of the House Michael Busch and 9B District Democratic House candidate Courtney Watson in Howard County.

Obama’s endorsement of Jealous is bigger than most people want to admit. Jealous must do well in the big three jurisdictions of Baltimore City, Montgomery and Prince George’s County to defeat Gov. Larry Hogan. Polls show him winning in those three areas, but he needs to win all three with a wide margin to beat Hogan. Obama had a lot of support in those areas and that might be able to help Jealous gain some votes.

His endorsement of Watson is a little surprising. There are a few Democrats that have a slim chance of beating any Republican House incumbent. Although it will be close, I think the Hogan-Kittleman combination should be more than enough to help Del. Robert Flanigan defeat Watson.

Is Michael Busch in trouble? A poll back in August showed Gov. Hogan winning Busch’s 30A District 71 to 21 percent over Jealous. Is there a concern that the Democratic Speaker and his running mate Alice Cain could lose to both Republicans Bob O’Shea and Chelsea Gill in District 30A that Obama was asked to endorse Busch? If so, I don’t think the former President’s endorsement will help him that much in this Anne Arundel County based district. If Busch wins, it will be a result of his name ID and not Obama.

So I do worry that Obama’s endorsement of Jealous could help the Democrats, but I don’t think it will make a difference in 9B and 30A. What are your thoughts?

Opioid Epidemic Conservation Sadly Turns Political

It is hard to believe that a treatment organization such as The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Maryland could turn a discussion about the opioid epidemic into a partisan discussion, but that appears to be the case.

RALI is holding a forum on the Opioid Epidemic at Perry Hall High School on Thursday, Oct. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. Some of the guest speakers expected at the event are County Executive Don Mohler, State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger, state Sen. Kathy Klausmeier and Delegate Eric Bromwell. All those elected officials are Democrats and Bromwell’s Republican delegate colleagues Joe Cluster and Christian Miele were not invited to the event, along with 5th District Republican councilman David Marks.

“Bipartisan, inclusive leadership is needed to eliminate the opioid epidemic in Baltimore County and throughout our state. Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, Delegate Joe Cluster, and I hope that the sponsors and organizers of tomorrow night’s community forum in Perry Hall reconsider their decision to only invite elected officials from one political party to participate,” Miele said in a social media statement.

Miele, Cluster and Marks sent out a letter to RALI of Maryland requesting an invite to this forum for this important and non-partisan issue.

Another participant of the event is John Torsch, who is from the Daniel Carl Torsch Foundation. The foundation is named after John’s brother Daniel who passed away from an accidental drug overdose in 2010. He promoted the event on a Perry Hall community Facebook page. Torsch was also a Democratic candidate for county council in the spring and is unaware why Republicans were not invited to the forum.

“That’s a question for the organizers of the event. I’d love to see more elected officials on both sides of the aisle speak up about the addiction epidemic and actually do something about it,” Torsch said on social media.

Councilman Marks, who could have potentially faced Torsch in November defended Torsch and commended him on his work.
“John is a good man, and I have learned a lot from him. I am still learning. He is a participant and not the organizer,” Mark said about Torsch.

The problem with having a nonpartisan event a month before the election is that many people are in a political frame of mind on both sides. There was a person who questioned why Kathy Klausmeier was even invited.
“Just say No to Klausmeier!” said a commenter to Torsch. He appropriately responded that the event is about saving lives.

“I tell you that more than 300 people died from drug overdoses last year in your area. We’re on pace for even more this year. And all you can say is “say no to Klausmeier “? That’s just sad. This isn’t about left or right. It’s about life and death. Baltimore County is losing,” Torsch said.

Redmer Calls Out Olszewski for Dundalk Debate No Show


The 7th District Civic Council in Dundalk announced their Friday County Executive debate has been cancelled after Democratic nominee John Olszewski Jr. told them he was not participating in the Dundalk area debate at the North Point Government Center.

“To what the committee believes is a detriment to the election process, and the voters of the 7th District, Olszewski’s cancellation has left the committee no choice but to cancel the debate,” said a statement from the 7th District Civic Council.

Olszewski’s Republican opponent Al Redmer Jr. put out a statement on social media where he said he was disappointed in Olszewski’s decision to cancel but left open an opportunity to still greet voters in Dundalk on Friday night.

“It’s disappointing if not unsurprising that my opponent has pulled out of the 7th District Civic Club debate at North Point Government Center this Friday. This isn’t the first time Johnny O has turned his back on District 7, and if he is elected County Executive it certainly won’t be the last,” Redmer said.

“I look forward to the other upcoming opportunities I will have to present my vision for Baltimore County, and in the meantime our campaign will find another way to connect with District 7 voters on Friday night.”

Foley Trashs Park With Signs After Marks Holds Cleanup

Foley’s sign was placed illegally at Indian Rock Park in Perry Hall
Illegal political signs were found at Indian Rock Park near Perry Hall High School. Those signs belong to Democratic 5th District Council County nominee Alex Foley.

The irony is that Indian Rock Park is the same location where his opponent Republican Councilman David Marks held a community clean up two weeks earlier. Marks pointed out that all his signs are on private property with permission of the property owner and that Foley’s signs are being placed illegally.

“My opponent must not care about public parks,” Marks said. “Two weeks ago, I organized about a dozen volunteers who ventured into swampy grass to clean up Indian Rock Park. Today, my opponent has littered that same park will illegal signs.”

Foley has run a bare bones campaign. He has rejected all invitations to debate Marks in candidate forums. The highlight of his campaign was making a video driving around in a car and he sign waved for Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous on Monday. Foley signs have also been spotted outside of the 5th District.

“I understand that my opponent has skipped community forums and may not know Perry Hall very well, but I had hoped he might respect a clearly-identified public park. When will he be cleaning it up?” Marks asked.

Redmer Picks up Baltimore County Police & Fire Unions Endorsement


Republican Al Redmer picked up two huge endorsements as the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 4 and the Baltimore County Professional Firefighters Association announced that they were endorsing the GOP candidate for Baltimore County Executive.

“IAFF 1311 is proud to support Al Redmer for Baltimore County Executive, and our members are confident that he is the right candidate not only for the men and women of the fire service, but for all Baltimore County residents,” Michael Day said from the firefighters union. “We look forward to working with Mr. Redmer over the next four years to improve working conditions for our fire fighters and make sure they have the resources they need to serve the people of Baltimore County.”

Cole Weston of the police union also said his union is proud to support Redmer.

“Al Redmer is the only candidate who truly understands the challenges that our law enforcement officers face on a daily basis, and FOP Lodge #4 is proud to support him in his race to become the next Baltimore County Executive,” Weston explained.

“We’re confident that under a Redmer administration, Baltimore County will be a safer place to live and work, which will benefit all of our residents and communities.”

This is in addition to Redmer receiving the Baltimore County sheriff’s deputies (Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 25) endorsement over the summer.

“I could not be more proud to have the support of these fine unions and the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every single day in service to our communities and the people of Baltimore County,” Redmer said in a statement.

“Throughout our campaign, I have consistently spoken of the failure of Baltimore County to adequately fund our most basic needs, and the fire and police departments have often been direct victims of that. For too long, these men and women have not had the support that they should from local government. As County Executive, I will make sure that the men and women who protect and serve our communities have the support and resources they need to do their jobs. They undoubtedly deserve it, and under a Redmer administration, they are going to get it.”

There was a time when all of the union endorsements went to Democratic candidates but there has been a shift, especially with police and firefighters.

His Democratic opponent John Olszewski, Jr. has been endorsed by the Teachers of Baltimore County (TABCO) and by multiple labor unions, but police unions have endorsed many GOP candidates during this election. It was really no surprise when Maryland Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) voted to unanimously endorse Republican Gov. Larry Hogan over his Democratic challenger Ben Jealous. Many believe that Jealous and his anti-police rhetoric made it an easy endorsement of Hogan.

The Maryland FOP also endorsed Republican Attorney General nominee Craig Wolf over Democratic Attorney Gen. Brian Frosh.

For decades, police unions have favored Democratic candidates over Republican candidates. That is starting to change here in Maryland.

Republican Bill Paulshock is Supporting Democrat Eric Bromwell

An Eric Bromwell sign can be found at Bill’s Seafood
Former 7th District Republican candidate Bill Paulshock was spotted with a Democratic Del. Eric Bromwell re-election sign on the lawn of his Bill’s Seafood business on Belair Road in Perry Hall.

Paulshock ran for the County Council in 2010 and for the 8th District House of Delegates in 2014 as a Democrat. He surprised many people when he decided to run for the 7th District House of Delegates as a Republican.

“While I was door knocking, a great question was asked of me. Was I ever a democrat? Yes, in 2014 I ran [as a Democrat]. When I was asked by Governor Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot to stand side by side with them in Annapolis while they introduced an important bill, then again in Ocean City Maryland, when he announced the bill into law. That day everything changed. In supporting one of the most common sense bills that would bring $100 million back into the Maryland’s economy without raising a single tax,” Paulshock explained in a statement in April. “I said then that I will support and help Hogan and the Republican Party any way I could. I am proud to be a Republican.”

Many critics of his party switch stated that Paulshock only ran as a Republican because a Democrat could not win in District 7. Del. Kathy Szeliga, GOP Minority Whip and a delegate in the 7th District, was very critical of Paulshock running as a Republican. She even sent out a mailer attacking his switch.

“Who is politician Bill Paulshock pretending to be now?” said the Szeliga mailer during the primary season.

After coming up short in the primary, Paulshock is looking to the General Election and he told me he does indeed support Bromwell. I asked him if he is concerned about the backlash that he might receive from the Republican Party. Paulshock responded that he is a “middle of the road Republican”. He added that he is supporting Bromwell because he believes friendship is more important than politics.

“I am proud to say Eric Bromwell is my friend and yes the Bromwell family is like family to my whole family. I am proud to call Eric my friend,” Paulshock said in an email.

“So if you want to print Bill Paulshock is Eric Bromwell’s good friend I will be proud it say that. He has help this community and small business greatly over the years.”

I have talked to a few other Republicans and they are obviously frustrated with Paulshock’s decision to support Bromwell. Especially when the GOP team of Joe Boteler, Cluster and Norman are in a critical battle ground race against Bromwell in the 8th District.

It is very disappointing.