O'Malley announces 'official' campaign kick-off
He has stockpiled nearly $6 million in the bank, won the endorsements of environmentalists, teachers and firefighters, and already challenged Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) to a debate, but if it wasn't obvious already, Gov. Martin O'Malley is running for re-election.
O'Malley's campaign manager on Sunday night released the schedule for the governor's "official" re-election campaign kickoff.
O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown will begin campaigning next Tuesday, April 27, with a three-day, 11-stop tour beginning with events in Baltimore, Prince George's County and Montgomery County. Over the following two days, they'll crisscross the state with events in Hagerstown, Frederick, Columbia, Catonsville, Annapolis, Cambridge, Aberdeen and Waldorf.
Tom Russell, the governor's campaign manager, said the kick-off date was chosen a few weeks ago.
"Obviously, we needed to wait until the legislative session was done. There were some bill signings and some things going on directly after the session and we wanted to make sure that we got clear of that," Russell said. "But the reality is we are entering the campaign season. We felt like this was a good time now that we've got an opponent, finally. You know, we're ready to go."
After months of anticipation, former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich (R) announced on March 31st that he would seek a rematch with O'Malley. He kicked off his campaign a couple days later with events in Rockville and his boyhood home town of Arbutus. Over the next two days he also conducted a statewide tour, with stops in Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore.
The first three stops on O'Malley's tour will be the city he governed as mayor, the county his lieutenant governor represented in the General Assembly, and Montgomery County, where he grew up.
"They are large municipal areas but we also felt like there's really a personal story for the governor and lieutenant governor to tell in each of those areas," Russell said.
O'Malley faces not only a likely rematch with Ehrlich, but first a primary challenge by George W. Owings III, a former Maryland veterans affairs secretary. In January, Owings launched a long-shot challenge, criticizing O'Malley for raising taxes, making "devastating" budget cuts and seeking to repeal the death penalty.
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