The Greater Washington Board of Trade's legislative briefing wrapped up this morning with a request for political predictions. First from Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Sheila Hixson (D-Montgomery), who offered more of a wish than a prediction.
The Democratic Party, she said, has two great candidates running for governor -- Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley.
"We'd love to have one of them drop out!" she said with a smile.
Hixson did not state her preference, but added that she'd just like to see a Democrat take back the governor's office.
Governor Ehrlich's chief of staff Chip DiPaula went next. The campaign manager of Ehrlich's 2002 bid predicted that voters would "send a thank you message" to the governor for the past four years and re-elect him to the job.
"I'm sorry to make you wait awhile," DiPaula told Hixson. "It will be one day, a long, long time from now."
For his part, Senate Budget Chairman Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George's) spoke less to the election than to the dynamics in Annapolis in the coming months.
"In Prince George's and Montgomery County, we need dollars, so we have to work with the governor until the end of the session," he said. "Then we'll go to war."
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