On the morning of Tuesday, June 27, former Del. John Olzewski Jr. officially announced that he will be running for the 2018 Democratic nomination for Baltimore County Executive. The official announcement took place in a Woodlawn parking lot at the intersection of Gwynn Oak and Englewood avenues.

Dozens of people gathered as Olszewski, affectionately referred to by friends and family as “Johnny O,” announced that he would be running for County Executive of Baltimore County.

“My friends and family and anyone who knows me calls me ‘Johnny O,’ and you should too,” Olszewski stated at the end of his address. “Because as we push for a better Baltimore County you’ll get to know me too, and relationship is the basic ingredient for progress.”

“Call me ‘Johnny O’ because I’ll be an executive you get to know, trust and rely on,” Olszewski continued. “Today is the start of this campaign for our county’s future. I hope you join me as we do big things, and do them now.”

Prior to this campaign, Olszewski served as a District 6 delegate in the Maryland House of Representatives, a social studies and special education teacher at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts and, as a pupil at Sparrows Point High School, and as a student member of the Baltimore County Board of Education.

Lisa Norrington, a teacher at Patapsco for 26 years, attended Olszewski’s event in support of her once-fellow teacher.

“I am honored to be here to support my friend,” Norrington said. The veteran teacher with three decades of experience under her belt noted that Olszewski’s dedication brought about safer schools and more resources for the children.

“He was always interested in fixing the issues [...],” Norrington said.

Olszewski’s announcement has come after the young Dundalk local spent two years “traveling all over Baltimore County listening and learning,” according to Olszewski.

“I’ve met with and have listened to community leaders, business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs, nonprofit leadership and more," Olszewski continued. “And here’s what I have learned — first, that Baltimore County is a good county. We’re very lucky to live here. But I have also learned that our county can — and must — be so much greater than it is.”

Olszewski’s announcement touted a platform rich in educational investments, both in public K-12 schools and in the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC).

Olszewski also expressed his interest in creating an economy that works for everyone, not only a small percentage of the constituency. He promised things like neighborhood restoration and job training programs if he is elected.

Olszewski also noted that the modernization of government would be a part of his platform.

“It will become more efficient, leveraging data and technology to improve services,” Olszewski said of Baltimore County government under his executive leadership. “We will be transparent, accessible and connected – starting with the county budget process. The budget will be driven by citizen town halls, evening hearings and online input. My cabinet will reflect the diversity of our county — a diversity that makes us stronger together. And that cabinet will come to you — I’ll grow the number of community liaisons so that you have more direct access to me and my cabinet, making it easier to meet the needs of your community.”

The primary elections in Maryland will occur on June 26, 2018. The general election will be on Nov. 6, 2018.

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