Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. cruised to reelection over his Republican challenger, former state Del. Pat McDonough, who conceded his loss after Tuesday’s partial elections results showed the incumbent ahead by more than an 18-point margin.

Olszewski claimed 59% of the vote after almost 190,000 mailed, early and Election Day ballots were counted as of 11 p.m. Tuesday — too far ahead for conservative radio talk show host McDonough to catch up.

Beers in hand, hundreds of Olszewski supporters filled Charles Village Pub & Patio in Towson Tuesday evening, laughing, hobnobbing, and keeping their eyes trained on television screens broadcasting NBC political reporter Chuck Todd and other national cable outlets as results trickled in across the U.S. Cheers and applause rang out when the race for Maryland governor was called in Democrat Wes Moore’s favor shortly after polls closed.

Election results for Baltimore County executive

Olszewski, entering the room as supporters sang, clapped and danced to Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” took the stage around 10:30 p.m. to tell those gathered: “We fully expect to win this race.”

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Flanked by other Baltimore County candidates celebrating election wins, Olszewski said he was grateful to God as well as his backers and his wife and daughter for their support.

“For as good as we’ve been — we can still be better, “Olszewski said. “This is just the beginning.”

Olszewski, 40, said he hopes to build on initiatives he launched in his first term: improving affordable and accessible housing access; replacing and restoring aged school infrastructure; making government operations more sustainable and efficient through new technology; investing more in economic development and public safety in underserved communities like Essex and Woodlawn; and providing more resources for underserved residents.

Baltimore County election judges counted 14,000 mailed ballots over the weekend, according to county elections board attorney Andrew Bailey. Canvassers will begin tallying the remaining 49,375 mailed ballots Thursday, he said.

See Baltimore County election results

In a brief interview at an election night event at The Olde Philadelphia Inn, McDonough conceded he will not be the next county executive in Baltimore County.

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He said he had no plans to call Olszewski and congratulate him, though.

”No, I’ve sent a group of people over to his headquarters, where they’re celebrating tonight, to beat the hell out of him,” McDonough said. “No, just kidding. No, I’m not going to call him. I’m going to go home.”

McDonough said he thought four more years of Olszewski would be “a disaster,” but that he didn’t hold anything personally against the incumbent.

”There was never a personal criticism of Olszewski. I’ve known Johnny 20 years, he’s a pretty decent guy, I just don’t agree with him,” McDonough said. “I think he’s a radical lefty, and he has bad judgment and he doesn’t have solutions.”

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wes Moore speaks with reporters Tuesday morning outside Windsor Mill Middle School, flanked by Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.

McDonough served twice in the House of Delegates. From 1979-1983 he was a Democrat representing Baltimore County and from 2003-2019, a Republican representing Baltimore and Harford counties.

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He beat out a crowded field of candidates for the Republican county executive nomination this year, after losing the nomination in 2018 to Al Redmer. During that race, he promised to make English the official language of Baltimore County.

McDonough is a well-known politician in the region, but considered a Republican hard-liner, with one political science professor calling him “Trump before Trump.” He has for years hosted a talk show on WCBM, a conservative radio station based in Lutherville, and has not stopped hosting the show during the campaign. He said his plan for running Baltimore County would have involved “litigation, litigation, litigation,” including filing a complaint in federal court against Olszewski and other county officials for failing to abate violence in county schools.

Shortly after casting her ballot at the Glyndon Elementary School polling place, 55-year-old Harriette Weinner said she voted for Olszewski in 2018 and she was happy to do it again Tuesday.

“He’s really stepped up for the people of Baltimore County,” said Weinner, a Reisterstown resident.

In his first term, Olszewski established police reform measures in a 2020 executive order, and in 2019 successfully pushed through legislation prohibiting landlords from rejecting applicants because they hold federal vouchers.

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Among his first proposals upon taking office, Olszewski championed public campaign financing, a proposal voters approved through a ballot referendum last year. Olszewski raised the county’s income tax for the first time in almost 30 years to cover an $81 million budget shortfall in his first year.

He’s also established the county’s first Office of the Inspector General and created the position of chief sustainability officer, setting a goal of powering county government with 100% renewable energy by 2026.

And the former teacher, whose daughter is a first grader in a county school, has touted his generous school funding throughout his first term. This year, Olszewski raised the school system’s budget by $90 million on top of investments to renovate, expand and replace school infrastructure.

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Baltimore Banner reporters Kristen Griffith and Imani Spence contributed to this article.

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