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O'Malley: Help me beat Ehrlich (if he runs)

John Wagner

Ehrlich.jpgGov. Martin O'Malley (D) plays up the prospect of a rematch with former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) in a new fundraising solicitation seeking contributions before the legislative session starts next month.

Ehrlich has yet to say whether he's running -- which O'Malley notes at the outset of his pitch. But the rest of the letter sure makes it sound like Ehrlich is in the race.

O'Malley writes that Ehrlich has "got plenty of friends ready to bankroll his campaign," citing a Baltimore Sun blog item from more than a month ago in which Ehrlich said he anticipates raising $10 million to $12 million if he runs.

"Ehrlich's been wrong about a lot of things over the years, but he might be right about this," O'Malleys says. "The GOP has some pretty significant built-in advantages in next year's race. The biggest is a Maryland law that prevents you from donating to my campaign during the Legislative Session. For three months, Ehrlich and the Republicans will be raising money from conservatives and right-wing groups from across the country while the lieutenant governor and I are fighting to create jobs and protect Maryland's schools."

Later in the letter, O'Malley takes another swipe at the former governor whom he defeated in 2006, writing: "Ehrlich says interest in his candidacy has 'quadrupled' since he's been on the Republican cocktail party circuit in recent months. And no wonder -- conservative special interests benefited handsomely when Ehrlich was in office. Life will be a lot sweeter for them if he or another Republican moves back into the statehouse."

O'Malley's solicitation makes no mention of two other Republicans who have said they are gearing up for the race: Larry Hogan, a former Ehrlich Cabinet secretary; and Del. Patrick L. McDonough (R-Baltimore County).

The full text of the O'Malley fundraising letter is available below.


Robert Ehrlich claims he still doesn't know whether he'll run for governor next year.

But there's one thing he does know for sure: he's got plenty of friends ready to bankroll his campaign. He recently made it clear to the Baltimore Sun that he expects to raise $10 to $12 million if he runs next year, despite the poor economy.

Ehrlich's been wrong about a lot of things over the years, but he might be right about this. The GOP has some pretty significant built-in advantages in next year's race.

The biggest is a Maryland law that prevents you from donating to my campaign during the Legislative Session. For three months, Ehrlich and the Republicans will be raising money from conservatives and right-wing groups from across the country while the lieutenant governor and I are fighting to create jobs and protect Maryland's schools.

That's why we need your help now. We need to raise $500,000 by January 10 to ensure that we'll be able to keep up with the Republican fundraising machine when the Legislative Session ends.

Will you help us by pitching in to support our campaign today?

http://www.martinomalley.com/January10

Since their big wins in New Jersey and Virginia, the right wing is itching for Republicans to regain power -- and they're willing to do whatever they can to make it happen.

Ehrlich says interest in his candidacy has "quadrupled" since he's been on the Republican cocktail party circuit in recent months. And no wonder -- conservative special interests benefited handsomely when Ehrlich was in office. Life will be a lot sweeter for them if he or another Republican moves back into the statehouse.

With your help, Lt. Governor Brown and I will have the resources on hand next spring to come out swinging against the Republicans -- and continue the progress we've made for Maryland's families over the last three years.

We won't be able to take on the Republicans next year without your help.

Help us reach our half-million-dollar goal by January 10. Please donate now:

http://www.martinomalley.com/January10

Thank you for all your support -- and Happy New Year!

Gov. Martin O'Malley

P.S. We can't afford to give Robert Ehrlich and the Republicans a three-month head start. Please make a contribution today:

http://www.martinomalley.com/January10

By John Wagner  |  December 30, 2009; 5:35 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections  
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