BaltCo: Gardina gives Kamenetz East Side boost
Baltimore County Council member Kevin Kamenetz, whose base of support for his campaign for county executive resides on his home west side of the county, has just picked up his second endorsement in the east side stronghold of his chief opponent, council member Joseph Bartenfelder, as councilman Vincent J. Gardina announced his support on Wednesday.
Gardina, who has represented the area from Towson to Essex for 20 years in District 5, joins John Olszewski of the southeastern District 7, who endorsed Kamenetz weeks ago. Kamenetz, of Owings Mills, represents District 2, on the west side.
The longest serving member of the council, Gardina said in an interview that he's been acting as a campaign adviser to Kamenetz, and admires his colleague's ability to make decisions and offer innovative approaches to county problems.
"I like both candidates, I like both of them as people," said Gardina. "Only Kevin I think is capable of leading the county."
Gardina said the county is going to continue to face difficult economic straits, and "that requires tough decisions that you can't waffle on...You need someone who acts on the facts presented to him, not how the political winds are blowing."
A former county police officer, Gardina said he was particularly impressed with Kamenetz's proposal to have county shopping centers with 15 stores or more install security cameras after a longtime teacher and dean at St. Paul's School was murdered at the Towson Town Center garage in 2005.
"The police department is telling us that reduced crime in shopping centers 31 percent," Gardina said, adding that Kamenetz's bill was opposed by some shopping center owners because of the cost of complying with the law. "That's true leadership. I don't see that in other candidates for this office."
Bartenfelder and Kamenetz, both on the council since 1994, will appear on the Democratic primary ballot with Ron Harvey, who filed as a candidate on the deadline day, July 6. Kenneth Holt is the only candidate for the Republican nomination.
-- Arthur Hirsch