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UPDATED: Mood remains upbeat in Ehrlich camp

Washington Post Editors

Updated, 10:55 p.m.: Mary Kane took the stage at the Republican Party's Election Night headquarters in Timonium about 10 p.m. and told everyone to get ready for a long night -- and not because the GOP is thinking of conceding.

Kane, who is running for lieutenant governor on the ticket with former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., sounded optimistic, despite media projections calling the race for Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

"We have only 11 percent reporting and we're closing the gap," Kane said. "Get comfortable: We have a lot of returns to come in. And we haven't talked about Baltimore County yet. We have great music, great food -- great beer! ... We're going to hear from the next governor of Maryland, Bob Ehrlich, before the night is done."

And, true enough, the Mood Swings played on, the buffet kept heaping on beef and BBQ chicken, and the Bud Light -- dispensed from the side of a specially equipped van -- continued to flow.

Original post:
The Mood Swings, a 22-piece big band featuring lots of brass, five singers and a name well-suited to the 2010 election cycle, was softening up the early crowd at Republican Election Night headquarters for Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., the former governor who said he wants his old job back.

Inside the cavernous Exhibition Hall on the grounds of the Maryland State Fair in Timonium, several hundred supporters and campaign workers milled or filled cups with beer and loaded plates with sandwiches and other buffet food while waiting for results. Many sounded buoyant, despite recent polls that had Ehrlich running well behind Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

"I'm a registered Democrat, but the last Democrat I voted for was Carter," said Jim Uhrin, 54, a television production engineer who lives in Baltimore County's Perry Hall. "I got a positive, hopeful feeling."

Uhrin said he cast his ballot for Ehrlich about 9 a.m. Tuesday with one thing uppermost in mind: "Jobs," Uhrin said. He said he also thought that Ehrlich would hold the line on taxes, as O'Malley has not.

Diane Beall, 51, of Timonium said she too voted for Ehrlich because of the Republican's avowed dislike of raising taxes, but also because she views him as a "family man." She also credited Ehrlich with forward thinking on slots and other ways to raise money besides boosting taxes. And she said she was not persuaded by opinion polls showing Ehrlich behind.

"I think Governor Ehrlich is going to be governor Ehrlich again," Beall said.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By Fredrick Kunkle  | November 2, 2010; 10:55 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections, Governor, Maryland State Budget, Slots  
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