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Lia Russell

Baltimore Sun

January 30, 2024

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. said Tuesday that he would run for Congress, ending widespread speculation about his ambitions for higher office and launching what he says will be a campaign focused on continuing his county-level work and uplifting Baltimore County’s “incredible story.”

U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, 78, said Friday that he would not seek a 12th term in November after serving as the representative for Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District since 2002. The district is made up of parts of Carroll County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City, and is considered a Democratic stronghold. Following federal redistricting in 2022, it shed Harford and Anne Arundel counties.

Olszewski, a Democrat, told The Baltimore Sun in an interview Monday he would run for Ruppersberger’s seat in the May 14 primary.

“Dutch Ruppersberger leaves an incredible legacy of service, one I’d be honored to step into,” he said, with an opportunity to “elevate, expand, and build on the incredible work we’ve done in Baltimore County.”

Olszewski, 41, has served as Baltimore County executive since 2018, when he defeated Republican opponent Al Redmer after winning the Democratic primary earlier that year by 17 votes, following a recount. He won reelection handily over Republican Pat McDonough in November 2022.

His political career began in 1999, when the then-high school senior served for a year as a student member on the county’s Board of Education. After graduating from Goucher College in 2003, he taught civics at Patapsco High School and served as a state delegate beginning in 2006. He left the State House in 2014, the same year his father, lobbyist John Olszewski Sr., stepped down after 16 years serving southeastern Baltimore County as a county councilman.

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