By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — First responders weigh in on the Baltimore County executive race, with two groups endorsing each candidate.

Republican Al Redmer received the endorsement of The Baltimore County International Association of Firefighters and Fraternal Order of Police.

“Under a Redmer administration we will always have your back and I can say unequivocally that will never change,” he said to the groups gathered at a news conference Wednesday.

Just hours earlier the Blue Guardians endorsed Democrat John Olszewski Jr.

“I’m honored to have the support of these dedicated public servants who put their lives on the line each and every day for our residents of Baltimore County,” Olszewski said.

The endorsements split along racial lines and raised questions addressing diversity in the police and fire departments.

“Everyone in Baltimore County deserves to feel safe and comfortable and thrive. We’re serious about that goal, thriving here in Baltimore County,” said Olszewski. “We also have to recognize that diversity is part of that strength as we move forward. Communities and law enforcement have to trust each other and work together to make all of our neighborhoods safe,”

Redmer also promoted diversity.

“I believe we need to improve diversity both with the recruiting and hiring as well as diversity training that we should offer our employees in dealing with a diverse county population,” Redmer said.

Both candidates had high praise for the service performed by the county’s first responders.

Baltimore County residents will begin casting ballots like everyone else in the state on October 25 with the start of early voting.

Correction: We were told by the Johnny Olszewski campaign that he was endorsed by the Blue Guardians and the Guardian Knights.  We have since learned that the Guardian Knights did not actually endorse Johnny Olszewski, only the Blue Guardians did. We also removed a web video update that was solely focused on Johnny Olszewski so that we give each candidate fair and equal coverage. 

This story was updated on Sept. 27, 2018 at 5:23 p.m. 

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