In a county executive race featuring two candidates with roots in the east side of Baltimore County, the winner was determined by the county’s west side.
As expected, Republican candidate Al Redmer Jr. garnered more votes on the conservative east side over Democrat John Olszewski Jr. But Olszewski still managed a respectable showing among east side voters, while dominating on the west side.
In other words, Olszewski did better while finishing second on the east side than Redmer did in finishing second on the west side.
That, and a big push by the Olszewski campaign to encourage early voters, propelled the Sparrows Point High graduate and former state delegate to victory.
Olszewski won by nearly 51,000 votes (186,696 to 135,702), and half of that margin came from early voting, where he led Redmer 63,739 to 37,955.
Olszewski’s campaign put a big emphasis on getting people out to early voting.
Despite his local roots — lifelong resident and a former teacher at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts — Olszewski lost to Redmer in Dundalk precincts, 14,977 to 10,404.
Redmer beat Olszewski in the two largest voting districts on the east side: the 12th and the 15th. Redmer won the 15th district, 14,493 to 9,754, and the 12th district 6,144 to 4,159.
But Redmer’s combined vote total from those two districts (20,637) was nearly matched by one district on the west side of the county. Olszewski won the 2nd District by a 19,116 to 2,574 margin.
Olszewski won the 1st Voting District 13,155 to 5,913. His margin of victory in that district alone was greater than Redmer’s margin of victory in the 12th and 15th districts combined (7,242 to 6,724).
Then toss in Olszewski’s 16,542-vote margin of victory in the 2nd District, and you can see why he campaigned heavily on the county’s west side leading up to the election.
Among the precincts where Redmer did well was in Olszewski’s native Edgemere. Redmer won the Edgemere Elementary precinct 1,065 to 427, and the Chesapeake Terrace precinct 1,025 to 289.
Redmer also did well locally at the Norwood Elementary precinct (672 to 348), Stricker Middle School (790 to 388), Patapsco High (619 to 328), Grange Elementary (742 to 446) and Chesapeake High (951 to 327).
Note, however, Olszewski still garnered close to 300 or more votes in each of those precincts. In over half of the 2nd District precincts, Redmer’s vote totals were in double-digits.
And Olszewski did win a few local precincts: the Fleming Center (308 to 15), Eastpoint (224 to 222), Middle River Middle School (607 to 287), Deep Creek Middle School (783 to 297) and Sandalwood Elementary (795 to 140).
(Some of these precincts are in Essex and Middle River. They are included among local totals because they are in the same legislative and county council districts as Dundalk/Edgemere-Sparrows Point.)
The two Edgemere voting precincts also flexed their muscles in the other local races.
For the House of Delegates, the three Republican incumbents were all boosted to victory by large margins at Edgemere and Chesapeake Terrace: Robin Grammer (1,859 votes), Bob Long (1,893 votes) and Ric Metzgar (1,757 votes) easily outpaced Nick D’Adamo (674), Megan Mioduszewski (572) and Diane DeCarlo (526).
The incumbents also enjoyed large margins at Stricker Middle School, Chesapeake High and Battle Grove Elementary.
Incumbent Republican State Sen. John Salling held off a challenge from Democrat Buddy Staigerwald with a consistent performance across the board. Salling won all but four precincts (Fleming Center, Middle River Elementary, Deep Creek Middle and Sandalwood Elementary) by good margins.
The county council race between incumbent Republican Todd Crandell and Democrat Brian Weir came down to the Edgemere precincts, where Crandell had a 1,953 to 660 advantage, and Chesapeake High (905 to 318), Battle Grove (846 to 422) and Stricker (774 to 355).
Rod McMillion defeated William Feuer in the first race for elected members of the Baltimore County School Board, but it was close.
McMillion won by a little over 2,500 votes, with the election day results being 9,841 to 8,034. The rest of his margin came from early voting and absentee/provisional ballots.
Feuer did well in the precincts that are in Dundalk, but not well enough to offset McMillion’s advantage in the Essex precincts (McMillion was the long-time athletic director at Chesapeake High).
In the race for the 2nd Congressional seat, which has usually been a mere formality for incumbent Democrat C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, the incumbent won by nearly 50,000 votes.
He didn’t win Dundalk, however, where Republican challenger Liz Matory edged Ruppersberger 12,558 to 11,753.
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