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Kendel Ehrlich for Anne Arundel Exec. -- Just the Latest Rumor?

Ever since Kendel Ehrlich's days as first lady, there has been no shortage of speculation about whether she has a future in politics apart from that of her husband, former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R).

The last rumor making the rounds is that Kendel may be gearing up to challenge Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold (R), who has been the subject of several recent news stories alleging less-than-flattering (and vigrously denied) conduct with women.

Henry Fawell, a former spokesman for Bob, who remains close to both Ehrlichs, this morning downplayed the speculation about Kendel as one of the "myriad rumors" about the futures of both Ehrlichs.

"Kendel is dynamic, she is well-liked, and she cares about Maryland," said Fawell, who works in Bob's law firm in Baltimore. "Whether that translates into her running for public office at some point is not known by her or anyone else."

Earlier speculation in Annapolis had Kendel seeking the state Senate seat in Anne Arundel formerly held by the recently retired Janet Greenip. After Bob lost the governorship, the couple chose to move to a new home in Greenip's district, near the Annapolis mall, rather than return to Baltimore County.

Complicating any political amibtions Kendel may harbor is this not-so-minor matter: Bob still has not announced whether he will seek a rematch next year with Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). That decision could be months away.

By John Wagner  |  August 5, 2009; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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Challenging an incumbent in your own party is never a popular or easy thing to do. It takes a strong and independent leader with bi-partisan support and a record of stellar constituent service to pull it off.

Although Kendel Ehrlich has a bright future in public life -- she is a convincing advocate for women and medical professionals when push comes to shove on healthcare reform. She is passionate about it and it's something she has experience with. Not so with county politics, zoning, growth and economic issues. She just doesn't have the qualifications to do the job.

Personally, I'd rather see Leopold challenged by someone with a proven track record of constituent service in the county and significant experience navigating county legislative issues and policy decisions. Cathy Vitale would certainly fit the bill. She has two definitive wins under her belt that show bi-partisan voter support in her District. She is term-limited on the County Council and it would be a shame to lose her as a passionate and pragmatic leader in our community. I hope she steps up.

Posted by: naptownsailor | August 6, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Plus Vitale is willing to stand up to O'Malley and Miller...Look at the slots issue...Leopold just caves to them.

Posted by: Hanover_Resident | August 9, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

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