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O'Malley Starts TV Ad Campaign

Governor

Montgomery County Executive and gubernatorial contender Douglas M. Duncan (D) was first out of the gate last month in what looks to be a slowly escalating political advertising assault on Maryland television viewers.

Next on the scene will be his Democratic primary opponent, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (see ad here). O'Malley's ad started airing today on several stations in the Baltimore media market, his aides confirmed.

It portrays the mayor as fighting for the interests of working-class families against a pending 72.percent rate hike by Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., the state's largest power supplier.

Although early by historical standards, O'Malley is taking to the airwaves a month later than Duncan.
In a bid to become better known, Duncan has aired a half-dozen ads in the Baltimore market featuring cardboard cutouts of O'Malley and Ehrlich that take shots at both of them on crime and education issues.

Duncan campaign manager Scott Arceneaux said he considers O'Malley's ad "proof" that Duncan and his running mate, Baltimore lawyer Stuart O. Simms, "are clearly surging in Baltimore."

"These ads are very telling of his concern, and for a campaign bereft of an original idea, his desperation," Arceneaux said of O'Malley.

O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said that is hardly the motivation.

"This campaign is in a very strong position to win the primary and to defeat Bob Ehrlich come November," Abbruzzese said.

But don't turn the dial, Ehrlich supporters. Baltimore Sun columnist Laura Vozzella reported that the Republican governor's campaign team was spotted on a Baltimore street filming an ad for his reelection bid.

Vozzella reported that actors discussed the governor's record on stem cell research and on cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, and included the slogan "Bob Ehrlich governs not from the right or the left, but the center, where we are."

John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  June 4, 2006; 6:59 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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