Towson activist, state delegate declared Democratic primary winners for open Baltimore County Council seats

Published 7/25/2022 6:15 p.m. EDT, Updated 7/25/2022 6:29 p.m. EDT

Democrat Mike Ertel, 56, prevailed in the primary to represent Towson, Rosedale and Middle River on the Baltimore County Council.

Victories have been declared and losses conceded in Democratic primaries for the two open Baltimore County Council seats.

Longtime Towson activist Mike Ertel, an insurance broker, ended Monday with 41.7% of the vote to represent the 6th District communities of Towson, Middle River and Rosedale — that’s 770 votes over his opponent, realtor Shafiyq Hinton, whose campaign was endorsed and funded by County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., council Chair Julian Jones and outgoing 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins, who didn’t run for reelection.

Results from Monday’s canvass hadn’t been posted to the state’s unofficial count as of 5:30 p.m.

Ertel, 56, who formerly headed an umbrella group of more than two dozen Towson community associations, said Hinton called him Monday to concede. Ertel was waiting to declare until he saw the tallies of the more than 5,000 ballots counted Monday.

Andrew Bailey, attorney for the elections board, estimates there are another 8,000 ballots to canvass by Friday. Most of those — 5,000 — are expected to be counted Wednesday, he said.

“Moving forward the message is the same,” Ertel said. “There’s a lot of people that feel like the county can do better” to address issues related to code enforcement, ailing public infrastructure and educational outcomes.

“It’s about improving the quality of life for people in the district — Democrat or Republican,” Ertel said.

Hinton, 30, conceded the loss of his first bid for office in a tweet Monday afternoon and hedged he would run again. Ertel will face Republican Tony Campbell, an adjunct professor at Towson University, in November.

The pair worked together on an ad hoc committee formed by Towson-area residents to consider expanding the seven-member council in 2015, Ertel said, but the idea never gained traction among county officials. He supports a community campaign spearheaded by western Baltimore County residents to let voters decide whether to add four more council seats.

With 44.8% of the vote Saturday, Del. Pat Young, 39, led the Democratic primary for the other open seat in the southwestern 1st District surrounding Catonsville, Arbutus, Halethorpe and part of Woodlawn. He was up about 8 percentage points over former small business owner Paul Dongarra, 52. Young represented parts of the district in the House of Delegates, where he served for eight years, and is presently the deputy majority whip.

Young, who was endorsed by Olszewski and outgoing 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk, who isn’t running again, is expected to face Republican Albert “Al” Nalley in November; Nalley, 71, has run unsuccessfully for state and local office, including to represent the broadly Democratic 1st District, several times since 2006.

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“There is still a General Election to be won!” Young tweeted Monday.

“Now we briefly rest, recover, and regroup. There is a lot to do between now and November 8th,” he wrote.

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