Republican Ticket in Maryland Is Bob Ehrlich and Who?

Posted on April 8, 2010


Bob Ehrlich

Bob Ehrlich announced yesterday, in Rockville and Arbutus, that he’s running for governor of Maryland. Finally. This is what passes for political news in Maryland.

In other news, Mr. Ehrlich, a Republican, announced that retired TV newscaster Andy Barth, a Democrat, will be Ehrlich’s press secretary. You could put that on the back page.

In still more news, Gov. Martin O’Malley promptly challenged Mr. Ehrlich to a debate. Mr. Ehrlich declined, but offered to interview the governor on radio.

Martin O'Malley

BTW, what has Bob Ehrlich been doing these past four years, other than a  little lawyering and co-hosting a Saturday-morning talk show?

I wonder who might run with Mr. Ehrlich for lieutenant governor? The list of Republican luminaries in Maryland is not unlimited.  Bob Ehrlich could tap Sen. Andy Harris or Sen. E.J. Pipkin as a running mate.  Sen. Harris might help the Ehrlich ticket in Baltimore County, but I think he’d be a negative in Montgomery, Prince Georges and Howard Counties.  Just my opinion.  Sen. Pipkin is better known statewide than Sen. Harris, and Pipkin would probably help Ehrlich a little on the Eastern Shore.

Let’s see. Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus of Somerset County is available. Then there’s my former newsroom colleague, Dean Minnich, a county commissioner in Carroll County.  Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of  these people.

What about Frederick County? I hear Frederick County is practically overrun with Republicans, but I’m drawing a blank on names.  Same thing with Harford County. Would somebody please suggest Republican lieutenant governor candidates from Frederick or Harford?

So I guess that narrows it down to School Superintendent Nancy Grasmick. She has great name recognition statewide. Ms. Grasmick has been in office for a long time and is generally respected. But what would she have to gain by being lieutenant governor?

Gov. Ehrlich and Lt. Gov. Michael Steele were a good team during Mr. Ehrlich’s last tour of Annapolis. Mr. Steele was a promising newcomer when Ehrlich selected him as running mate eight years ago. Mr. Steele has more name recognition now, but he has a previous commitment for the duration of the 2010 election cycle.

O'Malley and Brown

Maybe it doesn’t matter.  Mr. Ehrlich is running against the incumbent Democratic governor, Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.

I’m happy that Bob Ehrlich has decided to run. I’m not likely to vote for Ehrlich, regardless of who his running mate turns out to be. But Mr. Ehrlich is a good man, and undoubtedly the most competitive Republican candidate in a match-up against Gov. O’Malley.

Competition is good for all involved. Competition makes the voters think, and it makes the candidates work.  Competition is good for democracy. In fact, without serious competition, there is no democracy.

— Bernie (John) Hayden