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« A Bill Signing Becomes A Pep Rally | Blog Home Page | In The States, Democratic Leaders See Health Care Outcome As A Turning Point »

Ehrlich Reportedly To Seek Re-Match Against O'Malley

Ending months of speculation, WJLA-TV here in Washington is reporting that former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) will soon announce his comeback attempt, setting up a rematch with Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) this fall.

The source indicated Ehrlich would formally announce his bid Wednesday, April 7, in Rockville, followed by an event at his childhood home in Arbutus.

Other potential Republican candidates, who had said they'd defer to Ehrlich, had recently bowed out. But Ehrlich stoked questions about his commitment to the race by recently floating a challenge to Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D), also up for re-election this year. An Ehrlich spokesman would not confirm the report.

"We'll decline to comment on each new date that hits the rumor circuit. Bob Ehrlich is very grateful for the interest and will make his intentions known at the right time," Henry Fawell tells RCP.

O'Malley, elected with 53 percent of the vote against the then-incumbent in 2006, currently leads Ehrlich by 7.3 percent in the RCP Average. He has been readying for a tough campaign regardless of his opponent.

"Whoever runs, they start at 40 percent and we know we're going to have a vigorous campaign because of the extent of the economic pain that everybody in our state's feeling," O'Malley told RCP while in Washington last month. But anticipating Ehrlich as a foe, he said his rival would have to explain why state spending increased 33 percent in his term, but decreased under the current administration and how "their old worn out frames apply to the new challenging realities."

Maryland Democrats, meanwhile, are armed and ready for his return, having launched this Web site.