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UPDATED: Ehrlich concedes defeat

By Fredrick Kunkle
Washington Post Editors

Update, 12:05 a.m.: Former Republican governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. conceded minutes after 11 p.m., expressing disappointment but sounding as if he were ready to move on with his life.

"Didn't expect to give this short talk, but you're going to get it, and as usual for me, it's right from the heart," Ehrlich began, with his wife, Kendel, and son Drew on stage behind him.

"My dad the other night said, 'Run to win, expect to win, but if you lose, it's a pretty good ride for a little kid from the [inaudible] apartments,' " Ehrlich said, referring to where he grew up and his service in the General Assembly, Congress and the governor's mansion.

"Some of you here tonight -- I see the faces, I see the disappointment. All of you can see my face. I'm really disappointed, obviously," Ehrlich said. "But this is politics, and this is Maryland, and being a Republican in Maryland is tough," Ehrlich said.

"2014!" someone yelled from the crowd. But Ehrlich also said he looked forward to practicing law again and being with friends and family.

"We really care about this state, and we care about the direction of this state, and we care about the people of this state, and we care about the people who care about this state," Ehrlich said.

"For us, this is the close of a chapter. It's not sad. Please believe me," Ehrlich said.

He told the crowd to keep faith.

"This state's too good for some of the stuff we've seen go down here in the past couple years. We've got a new generation coming up," Ehrlich said, before saying he wanted to thank everyone one last time for their commitment and the way they ran the campaign. "That's what I want to remember you by," he said.

Original post: Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) conceded defeat minutes after 11 p.m. in his bid to unseat Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

"Tonight is at an end. We wish him well," Ehrlich said of O'Malley, flanked by his wife and family. "For us, this is the close of a chapter. For us, it's not sad."

By Fredrick Kunkle  | November 3, 2010; 12:10 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections, Governor  
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2010 Maryland Election Results
O'Malley trounces Ehrlich; Kratovil loses to Harris


God bless you Bob. You took on the machine 3 times and came out on top once. You were a great governor and I think MD will be regretting this day. Couple of quick tips from a joe on the ground:

1. Go dirty, go nasty, go early. You should have attached O'Malley from the get, you should have defined him and dug up every piece of inconceivable dirt you could find. There's plenty of it. Why not make more of what he did with the police in Baltimore?

2. You should have organized better. More boots on the ground. Better web ops. Having more Facebook fans means nothing if you're not in their stupid "live feed". Get something rolling. Build micro-sites. Play around with concepts. Attack and attack and attack.

3. Select a minority running mate. Love the choice you made but a minority, any minority, is critical to have on the ticket in Maryland. O'Malley knows this and selected Brown. This guy does absolutely nothing in 4 years but he brings in the votes.

4. Do something crazy for once. Do something real. Go to a bunch of O'Malley supporters and ask them to burn their wallets in support of their man. Capture the look on their faces. Explain that a vote for O'Malley is a vote for more taxes and waste, thus they may as well burn money and wallets now. Do something innovative. Get the young people out and about. Go to UMD-College Park. Go to the heart of the beast and connect with people.

I am sorry you lost Bob and Maryland will miss you. Now that everything from haircuts to breathing air will be taxed, I know people will regret this day. You're a good guy and centrist Republican, and we need more people like you. I just wish you had stuck to your druthers a bit more and came out with more fire.

Best of luck in the future.

Posted by: uofmfan_13 | November 3, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

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