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Politics on Parade


While many of us spent the Fourth of July relaxing, candidates for statewide were racing from parade to parade, waving from atop convertibles or walking parade routes in the broiling heat. Several ran the gauntlet of suburban Baltimore events: In Dundalk for the 8 a.m. festivities, Towson at 10:30, Kingsville at 11:30, Arbutus at 12:30 and Catonsville at 3. Some headed to Annapolis at 4 p.m. or the Bel Air event in Harford County at 6.

In Dundalk, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), wearing a flag-patterned polo shirt, was joined by both his wife, Kendel, and his lieutenant governor, Michael Steele, who is seeking an open U.S. Senate seat.

The governor, who is up for re-election in November, was greeted by scattered calls of "Four more years!" as he rounded a corner in a leafy neighborhood where residents lined the streets in lawn chairs.

Minutes later, Ehrlich's Democratic rival, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, was greeted with cheers as well as he made the same turn, holding hands with his wife, Katie, and flanked by his two teenage daughters and a few dozen supporters wearing green shirts.

The day also marked the final July 4 parades for two long-time Maryland officeholders, Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D) and Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. (D), both of whom are retiring.

John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  July 5, 2006; 10:27 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Is this true?

Posted by: Just heard that Doug Duncan is getting back into the race. | July 5, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I addition to Curran and Saranes, I hope that this marked the final parade in office for Schaefer, too.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was at the Dundalk parade, overwhelming support for Gov Ehrlich!!! It was great.

Posted by: ron | July 5, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love a good parade, but you know what bothers me about some of the area parades? They don't let challengers march - it's an incumbents only deal!

As an example, I was at the Montgomery Village parade yesterday morning. All 3 of the incumbent delegates from District 39 (the Village's district) participated in the parade (driven in sporty convertables courtesy of local car dealerships). But the only other candidate on the Democratic primary ballot, Saqib Ali, was forced to stay on the sidelines and not allowed to march!

I think it actually turned out better for Ali in the long run (this time) - he was able to meet, greet and talk to a lot more voters than he would have had he been stuck in a car in the parade. But on principle, I think the incumbents-only rules are unfair. They have enough advantages as it is and shame on the parade organizers for dampening the democratic spirit of equal access, especially on Independence Day!

- Russ Louch

Posted by: Russ Louch | July 5, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Nice try Ron, but I also was at both the Dundalk and Towson parade and it clearly was an evenly split audience between O'Malley and Ehrlich. If parades are any indicator, this is bad news for the Bobster who cannot afford to be neck and neck with O'Malley in these areas and have any chance at reelection. Even in Arbutus, O'Malley got a decent reception in the heart of what is supposed to be die-hard Ehrlich country.

Posted by: I was at the parades as well | July 5, 2006 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Was Jaime Raskin (MD Senate candidate)at the Takoma Park parade yesterday and how was he received by the crowd? I saw the picture of his opponent in the Post this morning so I was curious. Thanks.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 5, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse


I attend the Dundalk parade every year, sitting up the block from the reviewing stand. While the Governor definitely was responsible for the majority of signage handed out, the crowd's applause was fairly split between him and O'Malley. I even heard a few boos for "Kendel's Ken doll".

Four years ago, everyone down there was in love with Bob and openly contemptuous of KKT at the parade. Yesterday was different.

And that's bad news for Ehrlich.

Posted by: howie | July 5, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I think Takoma Park only allows incumbents to ride in the parade.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | July 5, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

BTW, can anyone tell me where Kristen Bell was yesterday?

I haven't read of her appearing anywhere.

Posted by: howie | July 5, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I apologize. Obviously, that's Kristen Cox I'm asking about.

Too late in the day I guess...

Posted by: howie | July 5, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Is Jaime Raskin Hispanic?

Posted by: A reader | July 5, 2006 10:44 PM | Report abuse

TkPk is incumbent only. We (the Kevin Zeese for US Senate Campaign) tried to push them to change this policy. We were in Dundalk anyway, but were pushing on principal, btw, people loved a third party candidate up there, and I noticed that our crew was bigger than most of the other Senate Candidates crews. Mfume had only 4-6 people, same with Lichtman. Thats the perk of having 3 parties support you.

Alex Zeese

Posted by: Alex Zeese | July 6, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Howie et al, you've got it all wrong. Ehrlich got a hero's welcome in Dundalk, I heard lots of boos for O'Malley. Just wait til Ehrlich drops about $20 million in campaign ads square on O'Malley's head. Duncan made serious inroads into O'malley's lead with almost no cash so Ehrlich should have no problem, just like last time when he came from 22 points back in those Sun polls to beat KKT. Ehrlich wins reelection pretty easily, mail it in.

Posted by: ron | July 6, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree, O'Malley's popularity in places like Balto county is very soft, it's extremely overexaggerated by the media. Once Ehrlich beats O'Malley, there will be a petition drive in Balto City to recall O'Malley, which only seems fair since he abandoned the people of Baltimore in their time of need to satisfy his ego.

Posted by: tanya | July 6, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I love this historical revisionism that O'Malley got a 'lot of cheers' and 'no boos' at the Dundalk parade. Apparently some people must have been selectively listening since the crowd was overwhelmingly pro-Ehrlich--although not surprising in Dundalk.

Posted by: Bryan | July 6, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, folks (or, more likely one folk posting three times)the parade in Dundalk was no "hero's welcome". It was a stand off. Both men were generally greeted respectfully.

Do I think Bob will carry Dundalk in November? Of course, I do. Will he carry it by enough to win reelection?

I seriously doubt it.

BTW, "Tanya", I don't believe Baltimore City has a recall so you're kind of out of luck.

Posted by: howie | July 6, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Although it would be nice, I was just kidding about the recall, Howie. Anyway, word on the street is that O'Malley won't seek reelection after his current term expires as Mayor of Baltimore if he loses to Ehrlich, O'Malley will just be out of politics, at least for awhile.

Posted by: Tanya | July 6, 2006 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Heard Democratic Attorney General candidate Doug Gansler was all around the state on the 4th (Dundalk, Severna, Frederick, Annapolis, Bowie). Glad to see he is going to bring his same tireless commitment to all MD voters as the next Attorney General!

Posted by: Doug Gansler Fan | July 6, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

According to FBI stats, under O'Malley, Baltimore's murder rate is 5 times higher than Los Angeles and 3 times higher than New York City, and O'Malley hasn't come close to meeting his own goal of reducing the murder rate to 175 per year. And O'Malley's hired and fired 4 different police chiefs, almost one every other year, showing a real lapse in judgment on appointments. Balto City's school system also went into bankruptcy under O'Malley, something unprecedented in any other major city. Gov Ehrlich just needs to hammer away and use his serious fundraising advantage to enlighten the electorate about all O'Malley's horrific record. If Ehrlich does it right, he should win reelection without any problem. Why would we want someone whose run Balto into the ground as our next Gov?

Posted by: doug | July 7, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I was at the Towson parade. Ehrlich got a huge reception. People loved him. O'Malley was scorned by the people around me. He was trying so hard to find supporters but all he had were the 8 people behind him and about three people in the crowd.

Posted by: Towson Resident | July 7, 2006 9:32 PM | Report abuse

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