Baltimore Co.: Bartenfelder praises but doesn't endorse Holt
It wasn't an official endorsement.
But Baltimore County Councilman Joseph Bartenfelder, who was defeated in the Democratic primary for county executive last month, sure likes the Republican nominee for the county's top job, calling him "a person of honesty and integrity" at a gathering to thank his supporters Sunday night.
Bartenfelder praised Republican candidate Kenneth C. Holt, who attended the event with his wife Mary at the fire hall in Kingsville, but stressed his kind words for Holt were not an endorsement.
Bartenfelder, who lost the nomination to fellow Democrat Kevin Kamenetz, invited Holt.
"Let's get one thing clear," said Bartenfelder, in opening remarks to about 100 of his campaign volunteers who dined on burgers, hot dogs and barbecue chicken. "This is not an endorsement party."
Some in the crowd booed.
Later, Bartenfelder introduced Holt to raucous cheers.
"Ken is a person of honesty and integrity. Like someone said earlier, the people of Baltimore County are going to choose who's best...," Bartendfelder said, before addressing Holt directly."I'm proud to be here with you today and I'm proud to have you and Mary as friends."
Before the event kicked off, Bartenfelder told a reporter there would be no endorsement. But when asked if Holt's invitation could be construed as one, Bartenfelder said, "I'm not commenting on that. This is a supporters thank you party."
Of his relationship with Holt, Bartenfelder said, "He asked for advice. I give him advice, that's all.
Holt, who ran unopposed for the GOP nomination, said he would be glad to get Bartenfelder's endorsement.
"I think that Joe and I share a lot of values, a lot of conservative values," said Holt. "I think these folks who have been loyal to him see something in me that they can have faith in -- handling their tax money responsibly."
Bartenfelder, meanwhile, kept the door open on his own political aspirations, telling supporters to hold onto their campaign T-shirts.
"Don't throw them away," he said. "Who knows what four years is going to bring. You never say never."