Collier on the verge of entering 6th District Senate Race
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 12:29

Unaffiliated candidate waiting for confirmation

 by Ben Boehl

    Three might be a crowd in the 6th District state Senate race.
    It appeared the general election contest was going to be a traditional two-party battle between Democratic Del. John Olszewski Jr. and Republican Johnny Ray Salling, but Scott Collier could be on the ballot too.
    Collier is known locally as the founder of Dundalk TV, a YouTube channel that features videos of events around Dundalk,  and has been a traumatic brain injury advocate since he suffered a head injury on the job in 2007.
    Collier registered as an unaffiliated candidate at the February 25 filing deadline and had to petition his way onto the ballot by collecting the signatures of one percent of registered voters in the district by Aug. 4.
    Collier was reportedly able to garner 1,775 signatures — far more than the 765 needed — and turned them in on Monday before the deadline.

Mary Cramer Wagner, director of voter registration at the state board of elections, said it appears that Collier should have enough valid signatures to get on the ballot, but stated it will take a few weeks before his candidacy is verified.
    “It usually takes up to 20 days, but I don’t think it will take that long,” Wagner told The Eagle.
    Collier said he decided to run because of his dissatisfaction with Olszewski. Collier has been spotted in area parades wearing a “Say No to Johnny O” t-shirt.
    “I saw a lot of things going on in the community that I do not like, and I don’t like the Olszewskis and their policies,” Collier said. “We lost so many jobs and [Olszewski] does not have a vision.”
    Olszewski responded that he welcomes Collier to the race, but said he is still focused on his own campaign.
    “I welcome anyone to the discussion about our community’s future.  Our campaign, however, remains focused on the people of the district and sharing our message about doing more for our middle class families,” Olszewski told The Eagle. 
    “We can support and grow the middle class by fighting for lower taxes and tolls, creating more jobs, and strengthening our communities through good schools and safe neighborhoods. 
    Collier went on to endorse Olszewski’s Democratic opponent Russ Mirabile in the Democratic primary. Collier was also the center of controversy when he announced that Salling had also endorsed Mirabile for the Democratic senate nod. Salling said in the spring that he did not endorse Mirabile and did not appreciate Collier for giving the endorsement on his behalf.
    However, Salling said he has no bitterness towards Collier.
    “I’m not upset about it, but a Republican cannot endorse a Democrat. I told him that and he understood,” Salling said about the situation on Monday.
    When Salling was informed that Collier appears to have enough signatures to get on the ballot, he said that he wishes Collier well and that he does not believe Collier will take more votes from him than from Olszewski.
    “I’m not worried about that. I have a great opportunity, and I hope he does well,” Salling said. “Hopefully he won’t hurt me.”
    Salling faced criticism a few weeks ago after being fined by the state election board for not filing his campaign finance report. After Democrats pointed out  that the Republican was late, Salling said he had sent in the paperwork in mid-July. However; the latest reports still show that the June paperwork has not yet been filed.
    “We filed it a few weeks ago [and received confirmation],” Salling said.