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O'Malley collects close to $1 million in one night

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) collected about $1 million for his re-election bid at an event Thursday night at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, according to campaign aides.

About 600 people attended the fundraiser, where tickets ranged from $500 to $4,000, aides said.

The event serves as a reminder that -- whatever challenges O'Malley faces governing in an economic downturn -- he is heading into next year's election with an upper hand over potential challengers.

None of the Democrats or Republicans "testing the waters" or otherwise contemplating bids have engaged in serious fundraising to this point.

It's easy to forget how different things looked last time around. In January 2006 -- the equivalent of three months from now -- then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) was sitting on $8.4 million. O'Malley, then the mayor of Baltimore, had $4.2 million in the bank, and then-Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, who was challenging O'Malley in the Democratic primary, had $1.4 million banked.

Speaking of Ehrlich, he is still weighing a 2010 rematch with O'Malley. But on Tuesday night, at least, Ehrlich could look like a candidate. He has back-to-back appearances scheduled, at a spaghetti dinner in Baltimore and a Republican rally in Howard County.

By John Wagner  |  October 23, 2009; 8:55 AM ET
Categories:  Governor , John Wagner  
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