Republicans angry over Olszewski e-mail
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 11:37

Delegate gives response to state GOP effort

by Ben Boehl

    The general election is still over a year away, but local Democrats and Republicans already appear to be fighting.
    The latest bone of contention is an e-mail appeal for contributions sent out by Del. John Olszewski, Jr., who is running for the state Senate seat being vacated by longtime incumbent Norman Stone.
    Republicans are upset over what it says are attacks on the Maryland Republican Party after the state organization said it was going to focus on helping Republican hopefuls in the 6th District, which has two open House seats and six Republicans running for that office.

“Last week, Annapolis insiders fired the first shot in what promises to be an ugly fight. The House Republican Campaign Committee, led by a Delegate from Anne Arundel County, announced that they are targeting Dundalk and the rest of my district in the upcoming elections. They want to bring the same tired tricks we are all watching on Capitol Hill to eastern Baltimore County,” Olszewski wrote.
    “Excuse me? I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to stand for outsiders trying to make decisions for us. While these kinds of games  have been going on for years in Washington, D.C., it is not what the communities I represent are about: creating jobs, providing a good education, and protecting the environment.”
    Republican House of Delegates candidate Bob Long said that when he saw the e-mail, he became furious.
    “I didn’t think John would take this route. I think it is about to get bloody,” Long said.
    “What does he mean, ‘we fired the first shot’? I’m a little upset because he is saying they are outsiders. They are Republicans.”
    Long’s fellow Republican House candidate Ric Metzgar told The Eagle he did not see the e-mail but believes the Democratic Party is truly concerned about next year’s race.
    “This tells you that [the Democrats] are scared. Now he is coming out on the offensive,” Metzgar said. “I told everyone on my campaign there will be no negativity.”
    Olszewski explained that the e-mail was in response to an e-mail sent by Del. Kathy Szeliga, a Republican from Perry Hall, seeking contributions from her supporters.
    The e-mail  accused the Democrats of gerrymandering a current legislative district map that, as Szeliga described it, puts “Republicans in a hole before the 2014 Election even kicks off.”
    The e-mail told supporters that “going against the corrupt one-monopoly [of the Democrats] in Annapolis is not easy.”
    Olszewski said he did not like the tone of the next part of the e-mail, which read, “Your support will allow me to help spread our message throughout this state and especially in the targeted districts where we know we can win next year — like the traditionally Democrat Dundalk.”
    Olszewski said he did not like the fact that Dundalk was being “targeted.”
    “This is not about party. This is about outsiders telling people in this district what to do,” Olszewski told The Eagle. “My take on it is that I’m more offended for the residents in this district.”
    Olszewski added that the e-mail was not a personal shot at any of the Republicans running for office in the 6th District.
    “Just to clarify, my e-mail didn’t say anything about anyone running in the district. And the state GOP caucus leadership clearly said they were getting involved,” Olszewski said.
    “I hope both sides can come together and have a civil discussion about our community as we have done in the past. I think everyone running in this race cares about their community,” he added.
    Former delegate Jake Mohorovic weighed in on the e-mail controversies.
    “The political reality is there are always outside political entities impacting local elections,” Mohorovic said.
    “There are unions, business organizations, political action committees, non-profit organizations and political consulting organizations employed by candidates that can afford them.”
    On Tuesday afternoon, Ed Crizer announced that he is exploring a candidacy for the House of Delegates.
    Crizer, 47, has been active in local Democratic politics and is a member of Baltimore County Board of Appeals.    
    If Crizer does enter the race, he would be the third major Democrat to declare for a local House seat; incumbent Del. Michael Weir Jr. and Eric Washington have already announced their bids.   
    According to the Maryland State Board of Elections, Kavanagh Road resident Jonathan Campbell and Marcus Foreman of Essex have both filed for the House as Democrats.