Ehrlich surfaces as ICC readies for traffic in Md.
Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), who has kept a low profile since losing his comeback bid in November, surfaced Monday at the ribbon cutting for the first stretch of the Intercounty Connector.
Ehrlich mingled at the event in Gaithersburg, which he attended along with Robert L. Flanagan, his former transportation secretary, and Mary D. Kane, his running mate in the 2010 gubernatorial election.
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who soundly defeated Ehrlich last year, issued the invitation, O'Malley aides said.
Ehrlich has skipped some other recent events typically attended by former governors, including O'Malley's inaugural last month and his State of the State address this month.
Greg Massoni, Ehrlich's former press secretary, said the former governor chose to attend the event because he was so instrumental in the ICC's history.
"Pretty much, he got the road done," said Massoni, who also accompanied Ehrlich at the ceremony. "It should be called the Ehrlich Highway."
The ICC was among Ehrlich's central accomplishments on transportation. After he used his Republican connections to lobby then-President Bush, a federal environmental review of the long-stalled project was fast-tracked, clearing the way for its eventual construction.
The first 7.2-mile segment of the ICC -- which links Interstate 270 in Gaithersburg and Norbeck Road, just east of Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring -- had been scheduled to open Tuesday morning.
That has been delayed until 6 a.m. Wednesday after forecasters predicted a wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow that authorities said was likely to stall last-minute work on the toll road.
Massoni said Ehrlich has made no decisions about his professional life since November and is remains on leave from his law firm, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.
| February 21, 2011; 2:10 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections, John Wagner
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