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Gansler unopposed; few well-known Republicans surface for Md. statewide offices

John Wagner

The governor's race in Maryland may be competitive, but no well-known Republicans stepped forward for other statewide offices, as filing closed at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

In fact, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) drew not a single opponent and could well be running unopposed in November. Under state law, the Republican party could still field a candidate, given no one filed for the office. But party officials said Wednesday they weren't sure whether they will take advantage of that provision.

Meanwhile, 11 Republicans (and seven Democrats) have stepped forward to challenge the seemingly well-entrenched Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.). But none of the senior senator's challengers are exactly household names.

Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) has drawn three Republican challengers, none of whom have held public office before. The most credentialed is William H. Campbell of Howard County, a former chief financial officer of Amtrak.

Ehrlic with watermen.jpgFormer governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), who is trying to win his job back from Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), acknowledged Wednesday to reporters that candidate recruitment for other offices have suffered due to the party's past track record in heavily Democratic Maryland.

"When you fail to win races over an extended period of time, it has a dramatic and negative impact on your ability to attract candidates," Ehrlich said, following an event in Grasonville at which he met with watermen angry with the O'Malley administration's policies on oysters, among other things.

Ehrlich predicted that if he wins in November, more Republicans will seek other statewide offices four years later. Ehrlich also said he had focused more energy on recruiting candidates for potentially competitive legislative races than other statewide contests.

Maryland GOP spokesman Ryan Mahoney presented a more rosy view, saying the party would get behind whichever candidates prevail in the U.S. Senate and comptroller's primaries. He said the party would field an attorney general candidate if "a strong one" steps forward in coming days.

"The number of U.S. Senate candidates is a tribute to how much enthusiasm there is out there this year," Mahoney said.

By John Wagner  |  July 7, 2010; 12:36 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , John Wagner  
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erhlich isnt trying to win back "his" job. It's O'Malleys job. erhlich was fired and is going to stay fired. erhlich had his chance to win back his job four years ago and was soundly defeated. The only job ehrlich is getting again is the job of the losing candidate.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 7, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

A former CFO of Amtrak? Yeah, that'll get you elected. Doesn't the GOP want to ditch Amtrak?

Posted by: jckdoors | July 7, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I thought Madigan was the frontrunner in the Comptroller race. I heard he is pulling a lot of support from the Tea Party base, and I've seen a lot of signs for him around (at least in Harford County (where I live)).

Posted by: mdgopfan | July 7, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me for being so mean, but there's a party other than Democratic in Maryland?

Posted by: thelongblueline | July 7, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

maybe we can repeal the 6% sales tax o'malley imposed. maybe we can stop maryland from being an illegal sanctuary state. maybe we can elect ERHLICH.

I am moving my primary residence to Florida this year to avoid the maryland income taxes and inheritance taxes. You just have to stay there for six months and a day out of the year. I urge more millionaires to do the same. Why should we support these loser democrats? Get jobs and support yourselves and I don't mean government jobs. All government jobs do is suck off the taxpayers for no reason. Government workers are miserable people. How do you live with yourselves, stealing from all of us doing nothing every day?

Posted by: charlietuna666 | July 7, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

"The only job ehrlich is getting again is the job of the losing candidate."

Anybody who votes for O'Malley is an idiot or an illegal alien. The guy is the worst governor in state history by a large amount.

His governing mode is pretty simple: Raise taxes through the roof, spend even faster than tax receipts are coming in.

He is poison for people who aren't receiving some sort of state aid.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | July 8, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

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