Get Out the Vote


With the midterm elections coming up in less than two weeks, the JT takes a look at what’s on tap for Election Day, from the Baltimore County Executive race — one of the few local races with a real contest — to the governor’s race, which incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is strongly favored to win.

Susan C. Ingram attended a county executive forum at senior living facility North Oaks last week, where Democrat Johnny Olszewski Jr. and Republican Al Redmer Jr., who has been endorsed by Hogan, laid out their visions for Baltimore County. As you’ll read, the two spoke about infrastructure, education, transit and much more to an engaged audience that did not pull punches with its questions of the two candidates.

Olszewski spoke about “smart transit” while Redmer talked about the need for transit-oriented development and a county circulator. Both believe the county should have a working partnership with Baltimore City. Both also believe public school infrastructure should be improved, but they disagree in how to go about that.

The race to replace County Executive Don Mohler, who took office following Kevin Kamenetz’s sudden death from cardiac arrest in May, is sure to be a close one with a highly popular governor endorsing the Republican candidate. Since the county post was established in 1956, there have only been two Republican county executives, the first being Spiro T. Agnew, who would later serve as Richard Nixon’s vice president.

Connor Graham spoke to representatives of a number of local advocacy organizations, including the Baltimore Jewish Council, Agudath Israel of Maryland and the Baltimore Jews United for Justice Campaign Fund about what issues are of concern to voters. Answers included community and synagogue security, school funding (public and private), immigration, court appointments and BDS. Connor also spoke to Hogan and his Democratic challenger, Ben Jealous, about their policy positions on Jewish issues.

As you’ll read, Hogan and Jealous share similar positions on BDS, but have diverging views on BOOST scholarships for low-income students to attend private schools. Hogan has funded the program, while Jealous said he would phase it out.

Speaking of the Baltimore Jewish Council, the organization’s deputy director, Sarah Mersky, woke up last Friday to KKK flyers in her South Baltimore neighborhood for the second time in one month. As Jesse Bernstein reports, this incident is sadly not unusual, as a recent Baltimore Sun investigation found hate incidents are up in Maryland.

Whatever your political leanings, be sure to vote on Nov. 6. And happy reading in the meantime!

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