Balto. Co. police union endorses Bartenfelder
Baltimore County executive candidate Joseph Bartenfelder won the last of the major county labor endorsements Monday night, as the union representing 1,900 police officers voted unanimously to support him in his race for the Democratic nomination with fellow veteran County Council member, Kevin Kamenetz.
Sgt. Cole Weston, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4, said more than 100 members gathered at the union's headquarters Monday night to back Bartenfelder, who has already won the endorsements of the Baltimore County Professional Firefighters Association and the Metropolitan Baltimore Council AFL-CIO, representing more than 180 separate locals. Kamenetz is supported by the Teachers Association of Baltimore County and the Laborers International Union of North America.
"Through Joe's tenure, he's established himself professionally and personally with a number of our members in issues that are important to us," said Weston.
He specifically mentioned votes the council took in the spring of 2008 on provisions of the police contract that had already been approved under binding arbitration. Of the 14 items submitted separately to the council, Bartenfelder voted for 13, Kamenetz for 7.
Weston said those votes were not the only reason for the decision, but "it was certainly a part of it. Legislative history is a part of the consideration."
Both Bartenfelder and Kamenetz have served on the council since 1994.
Weston said the endorsements meant not only financial support, but volunteers to hand out literature, plant campaign signs and work the polls on primary day, Sept. 14. The union represents officers up to the level of lieutenant, as well as about 900 retirees.
Bartenfelder, who has raised about $800,000 to Kamenetz's $1.4 million, has been hoping that the labor endorsements will help him stay competitive with his opponent.
Kenneth C. Holt, the lone Republican in the race, and a third Democrat, Ronald E. Harvey, have received no public labor endorsements.