Brochin enters race for Balto. County Executive
State Sen. Jim Brochin (D42) has officially thrown his hat into the Baltimore County Executive race.
Speaking to an audience at Essex-Holly Neck VFW Memorial Post No. 2621 on Oct. 19, Brochin stressed that one of his biggest goals as County Executive would be to dismantle the “pay-toplay” system in Baltimore County where, he alleged, developers give small campaign contributions to council members in order to let them build whatever and whenever they want. He said it is plaguing the county and allowing developers to wreak havoc on communities.
“What I realized is, I was spending more and more time as a senator trying to stop developers and county government from taking people’s land, from taking public land, taking open space. The list starts at the [North Point] Government Center, the list goes to Paragon Outlets in White Marsh, it goes to the Royal Farms in Towson, it goes to Chestnut Ridge in Pikesville, it encompasses the entire county,” he said. “The more I saw it, the more I got frustrated. I’m running as a citizen that is really, really pissed off.”
As a senator, he said he has seen his constituents’ frustrations and their questions about how developers are getting these special deals while their feedback is seemingly ignored.
He said, instead, the county’s government should focus on protecting the parks and public land while promoting the preservation of green space and open space and pushing for “smarter development”.
“I don’t do party; I’m going to do public policy,” he said, explaining that on financial matters, such as whether or not to raise taxes, he would vote more conservatively, while on social issues, like environmental protection, he would “vote much like a liberal Democrat.”
Brochin then began to explain what sets him apart from the other candidates for the Democratic nomination, former Del. John Olszewski Jr. (D-6) and Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond (D-2). The biggest difference, he said, was his opinion on the executive order issued by current Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz this year that made Baltimore County a “sanctuary county” by formalizing policies that residents cannot be profiled or detained based on their immigration status.
Brochin said that his opponents expressed approval over this order while he would reverse it if elected.
“If you get arrested for a crime, and it’s your second crime and you’re here illegally, we are going to honor the ICE detainer and that’s going to be the policy of Baltimore County.”
He also differs from Almond and Olszewski in his stance on the failed Bill 46-16, which would have prohibited landlords from discriminating against applicants using disability benefits or Section 8 housing vouchers.
Brochin had killed the bill in the Senate multiple times, he said, believing that it put too many limitations on and took away too many free- doms from property owners.
“At the end of the day, we need to do everything we can to encourage home ownership in Baltimore County, and we shouldn’t be forcing the Baltimore County Housing Authority down anyone’s throat.”
Brochin then addressed the opioid crisis in Maryland, proposing solutions like a long-term project to build an addiction treatment center in Baltimore County. He also said that Baltimore County should use Anne Arundel County as an example for the implementation of a “Safe Streets” program where addicts can access treatments at fire and police stations while being connected to a caseworker.
“It’s not going to be easy. But there are people we can save. We can probably save 50 to 60 percent of the population who is addicted. We need to be a county that cares. We’re going to be judged in the future on what we do now, and what we do now is nothing, or very, very, very minimum.”
Although Brochin had teased the run earlier in the year, he announced that his campaign is now officially ready to get started, adding that his team will be opening up a campaign headquarters in Dundalk in early 2018.
The Democratic and Republican primaries will be held on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. The Maryland General Election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
State Senator Jim Brochin (D42) has entered the race for Baltimore County Executive.