State Senator Jim Brochin officially launched his campaign Thursday for the county’s top office.
Brochin, a four-term state senator, has been plotting this run for a long time. Brochin made his announcement at Towson Manor Park.
Brochin said his number one issue is reducing the power developers have in the county. Brochin said if he is elected, he would submit to County Council legislation that essentially would ban a council member or a county executive from accepting money from a developer who has a proposed project in the works.
“What it does it extracts money out of the system and lets development rise and fall on its own merits,” Brochin said.
Brochin in the past has criticized his fellow Democrat, the current county executive, Kevin Kamenetz. He also bucked the Democratic leadership in Annapolis. They returned the favor by redrawing the lines of Brochin’s Senate district to make it more Republican so Brochin couldn’t win reelection. He did anyway, in a tight race in 2014. Brochin believes his independence will help in the race for the Democratic nomination for County Executive.
“I think the Democrats in Baltimore County are as independent as I am," Brochin said. "I think they look past party and they look past everything and they care about ideas and ideology.”
it wasn’t just Democrats at Brochin’s campaign announcement. Republican Delegate Chris West, who by the way is running for the Senate seat that Brochin is giving up, was there as well.
“We worked together very cooperatively and productively in Annapolis, even though he is a Democrat and I am a Republican," West said. "So I just wanted to come and show that he’s a good guy and I think he’s done a great job.”
West said his showing up does not mean he is endorsing Brochin for County Executive.
The race for the Democratic nomination for county executive will be competitive. Former State Delegate Johnny Olszewski is already in the race. Councilwoman Vicki Almond is expected to do the same in a couple of weeks.