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Ehrlich sees difficult rematch vs. O'Malley, but wife is eager

Republican Party

Thumbnail image for Ehrlich.jpgHis wife is "wildly enthusiastic" about him running for governor again. Some of his close friends are decidedly less so.

Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s latest ruminations on 2010 were shared Tuesday during an appearance before a college class at Towson University. For Ehrlich (R), it was a familiar setting: For much of the time he has spent in public life, he has been a twice-a-year guest lecturer in the Persuasion class taught by professor Richard Vatz.

About two-thirds of the way through Tuesday's class, Vatz pressed Ehrlich on whether there was "a compelling argument" against him seeking a rematch with Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who defeated him in 2006.

Ehrlich said "yes" but then asked Vatz's students to supply arguments on both sides.

Among the reasons he was told he should run: It's important for the state to have a strong two-party system. He's very passionate about his beliefs. And he seemed knowledgeable about the issues.

Among the reasons he was told to take a pass: The Republicans could use a fresh face in the governor's race. And he should should start preparing to run against President Obama in 2012 instead.

"I think that she gets a 'A,' " Ehrich chimed in.

Ehrlich did finally offer some of his own arguments against running in response to Vatz's question, including the more than two-to-one Democratic advantage in party registration in Maryland and the expectation that O'Malley "will have a ton of money," as Ehrlich put it.

Pressed by Vatz as to whether those were "compelling arguments," Ehrlich said: "They're relevant."

Ehrlich later told reporters about the feelings of his wife, Kendel, the former first lady.

"Kendel is no secret," he said. "She's wildly enthusiastic. ... Obviously we're very close. She is my wife and my best friend."

His closest friends are divided on the question of running again, Ehrlich said. "You have some friends who are very supportive but think it's a very difficult run in this state," he said.

To be continued.

-- John Wagner

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  November 17, 2009; 5:10 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , John Wagner , Republican Party  
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