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O'Malley makes closing argument in Baltimore

Aaron C. Davis

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) returned to his home turf of Baltimore Monday for a whirlwind tour of hand-shaking, hugging - and even singing - on the final day of his reelection campaign. Striding up E. Monument Avenue just blocks from Johns Hopkins Hospital, O'Malley was warmly embraced by small business owners, city workers and other residents, many who shouted encouraging
words to the city's former mayor like, "We've got your back, O'Malley!"

DSC_0404.JPGThe governor, wearing a Ravens bomber jacket over his dress shirt, repeatedly replied, "I need you guys tomorrow."

There were reminders along the way of the tough economic backdrop to the rematch with former Republican governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. At least a half dozen people O'Malley encountered on his neighborhood tour asked for his help finding a job. Francis Keeling, a community activist, asked what the governor would do to improve the quality of life for residents of East Baltimore.

"I haven't seen the results I would have liked to have seen, but I have hope he will keep his promise," Keeling said of O'Malley's tenure, though he plans to vote for him on Tuesday.

O'Malley's closing message was similar to where he started the campaign, presenting the election as a clear choice.

"You have two different governors who made two very different sets of choices," he said. "In tougher times, we made the better choices."

O'Malley acknowledged the tiring pace of the campaign and allowed that he'd become "a little punchy."

Greeting a merchant at the Eastside Market who was selling whole flounder and other fish on ice, O'Malley quipped, "These guys remind me of my opponent."

Before leaving Baltimore for Prince George's County, O'Malley dropped in to Arcos restaurant for beef and chicken fajitas and a song with Latino leaders. He was serenaded by supporters who thanked him for his support of "new Americans" and for ensuring that "Maryland is not Arizona." O'Malley stressed the importance of turnout, urging voters to get the word out about the election on Facebook and other social media.

"It's time to choose. It's time to decide," O'Malley said.

-Ann E. Marimow

By Aaron C. Davis  | November 1, 2010; 2:05 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections  
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One more day to motivate supporters

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