Incumbents name Washington and Crizer to ticket
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:33

Olszewski and Weir ally with House hopefuls

by Ben Boehl

    With the retirements of Del. Joseph “Sonny” Minnick and Sen. Norman Stone, there have been rumors circulating that Del. John Olszewski Jr. and Michael Weir Jr. are looking to form a new ticket.
    The pair made it official on Saturday, when they announced their ticket for June’s Democratic primary, which will be called “Our Team.”
    The slate includes Olszewski as the Senate candidate, with Ed Crizer and Eric Washington joining Weir in the House contest.
    The five Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) candidates on the ticket are Marilyn Baldwin, Chris Maher, Patty Burr and Mike and Megan Mioduszewski.
    Minnick, Stone and outgoing Councilman John Olszewski Sr. attended the event; all said they support the newly-formed ticket.
    Crizer and the five DSCC candidates were widely expected to be on the ticket, but Washington, the first Democrat to publicly declare for the House race, began to surface only within the last few weeks as a possible member of the ticket.    
    A CCBC professor and Baltimore County Human Relations Commission member, Washington has picked up endorsements from firefighter and teacher associations in Baltimore County, along with the  Maryland State Education Association and the Battle Grove and County Seal Democratic clubs.
    “It’s lonely when you are all by yourself. It’s better to be on a team,” Washington noted. “With a team, you can share your individual talents.”
    With Olszewski, Crizer and Washington picking up many of the same endorsements, Olszewski said the two newcomers fit in well with him and Weir.

“I think both have been picking up the same type of endorsements through the different Democratic clubs, TABCO [the teachers’ group] and the firefighters,” Olszewski said.
    “There are a lot of good people running, and this is the best mix of people to represent our area.”
    Weir said he agreed with Olszewski on the selection of Crizer and Washington and that he is happy to welcome them to the team.
    “I think both will do a good job at representing our community,” Weir said.
    “Ed has worked hard in the community and brings a business owner’s mind. Eric has been a team player behind the scenes and has helped us [with previous re-election efforts].”
    The selection of Crizer was not a surprise, as he is a longtime ally of both Del. Olszewski and the delegate’s father, Councilman John Olszewski Sr.
    The delegate said that he did pick Crizer out of trust, but noted Crizer’s résumé in county government and his business experience as the former owner of the Sea Horse Inn.
    “Ed has been a friend and someone I trust, but he is a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 37, a successful small business owner and has had a successful tenure with the Baltimore County Board of Appeals,” Olszewski said.
    Crizer said that he has been talking to Olszewski about forming a ticket and feels the “Our Team” ticket is best for the community.
    “I think it is a great balance. John and Eric have a background in education and I have a business background.”
    In an ironic twist, Crizer was introduced by Minnick. Both men admitted that they used to have a rivalry.
    “When I first met him, we didn’t get along. I thought he was a bully,” Minnick said. “But I got to know him. He is a big marshmallow. I’ve grown to love him.”
    Crizer admitted that he and Minnick have had past disputes but said he now views the outgoing delegate with trust.
    “We have had our differences, but he is the person I go to [for advice]. He keeps me straight,” Crizer added.
    Most often, a ticket might be expected to include a candidate for County Council, but multiple council candidates have told the Dundalk Eagle that Olszewski promised to stay out of the council race.
    Olszewski confirmed that he is not getting involved in that race.
    He added that he felt it was important to get a House ticket together because he would be working with the group in Annapolis, while the council deals specifically with county issues in Towson.
    “I’m not going to take a position in the council race. I will support the nominee (after the June primary),” Olszewski said.
    Olszewski explained that he had talked to many other candidates before selecting Crizer and Washington.
    Former Baltimore City Councilman Nick D’Adamo said he and Olszewski had serious talks, and D’Adamo thought that he might have been selected.
    Now that Olszewski has made his decision, D’Adamo said he is ready to focus on his own campaign.
    “It would have been nice to be on the ticket, but I’ve always run by myself,” D’Adamo said. “I guess the real ticket is what the people choose on election day.”
    Former delegate Jake Mohorovic said he also spoke to Olszewski about forming a ticket.
    Mohorovic added that he believes that if the entire “Our Team” ticket sweeps the Democratic primary, it would increase the odds that a Republican might capture a seat.
    “If Crizer and Washington go through the primary, I believe [Republican candidate] Bob Long will pick up a seat,” Mohorovic said.
    “The Olszewski ticket is one option for voter’s to consider. This is the first election to see if Olszewski has coat tails.”