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After nearly a month-long absence, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley is returning to the airwaves today with a pair of new television ads designed to portray the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful as a fighter for working-class families.

O'Malley campaign spokesman Rick Abbruzzese confirmed that the ads, which includes appearances by his mother and his 8-year-old son, will rotate on network affiliates in the Baltimore area. No candidate for governor has yet to aired TV ads in the more expensive Washington market.

In one ad, William O'Malley reads an essay titled "My Dad," in which he offers:

"My Dad is really great. He plays baseball and he helps me with my homework. Even though he works really hard as mayor we still have a lot of fun together."

In the other, the mayor appears with his mother and talks about the values his parents instilled. His mother, Barbara, has the last word, saying: "And that's just one reason Martin will be a terrific Governor for you."

Meanwhile Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. will roll out his third campaign ad today, this one aimed at promoting his record on education.

This commercial, like his first, never shows the governor. Instead, a series of regular folks -- in this case, all women -- talk about why they approve of Ehrlich's handling of education. One says, for instance, that SAT scores have gone up at her daughter's school. Another talks about Ehrlich's promotion of charter schools.

The ad includes a snippet from a Baltimore Sun headline that says, "Ehrlich's plan ..... Record increase for public education." That story did have those words in the headline but also noted that the funding was mandated by a legislative initiative and that some Democrats believed Ehrlich fell short of meeting that mandate.

Ehrlich said yesterday that the commercial will continue a strategy that will keep him on television until Election Day. He said his campaign expects to launch a spot every 10 days.

Abbruzzese would not comment on whether O'Malley will be on television for the duration of the race.

John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  July 18, 2006; 10:08 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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