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February 1, 2010

Larry Hogan bows out of race for governor

The leading Republican with clear plans to challenge Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley this fall has dropped out of the race.

Hogan said in a brief interview this afternoon that his conviction that Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is going to run led him to end his own exploratory bid. Ehrlich, for whom Hogan served as appointments secretary, has said recently that he'll make public his intentions in March, but probably not sooner.

"I have become convinced he's going to run," Hogan said. When I asked what led him to this conclusion, he replied, "I just believe it."

What happens if Ehrlich says in March that he's not going to run after all?

"I'll jump off that bridge when I come to it," Hogan replied, perhaps a bit too fatalistically.

Hogan revealed his decision in a long note posted today on his blog:

"Today I am officially concluding my exploratory committee and calling on my friend Bob Ehrlich to enter this race for governor. Not only do I believe that Bob Ehrlich should run, but I am convinced he will run and that we should all push in the same direction to elect him as Maryland's next governor."

Hogan had put up more than $300,000 of his own money to run his campaign, but he'd said all along that he had no interest in running if his former boss did. has said recently that he continues to mull whether to run in this heavily Democratic state. After one term in office, he lost his reelection bid to O'Malley in 2006.

(Baltimore Sun photo by Monica Lopossay / February 11, 2005)

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 12:39 PM | | Comments (20)


Well if the choice we have this fall is OMalley versus Ehrlich, I will stick with OMalley. Ehrlich has no new ideas on how to fix Marylands problems.

The best ticket Maryland Republicans can put forward would be Ehrlich-Hogan!

Ehrlich's background in public service and Hogan's as a successful businessman is what Maryland needs right now.

Please run for the senate. Babs needs a serious challenge. She does not represent the views of most Marylanders.

Bring Back Ehrlich and kick out this loser O'Malley please!

C'mon Bob, run for governor and WIN!!!

Is the half cocked picture of Ehrlich a subliminal message?

Stay out of the race Mr. Ehrlich. If a Ehrlich runs let it be your wife!

Bob Sr. needs more time to ride around pulling that sign. Perhaps he can also hit-up the some donors that put Junior through Gilman, Princeton, & Wake Forest.


Ehrlich's a loser and so is O'Malley. Why is it that we cannot get anyone better than these two to run?

Bob Ehrlich may be interested in running for governor. But that doesn't mean he's really interested in being governor. He may relish the campaign, but, as we witnessed in 2003-2006, he has limited interest in governing.

MD needs a balanced approach to growth. No private businesses currently seek investement in locating to MD because of unfavorable tax policies. For decades MD has been a "smart growth" state. But we found out earlier this year that it isn't working and poorly planned sprawl continues. We have seen multiple large firms relocating to Wash area go to N. Va which creates jobs there instead of here in MD. Did you know that attracting private business is key in creating more jobs for all people, spawning greater regional investment, and can be done with the environment in mind? Did you know that while crime in MD is lessening in some areas, it is actually migrating into historically nicer neighborhoods? MD must take Northern Virginia's model and apply it within. Read the Montgomery vs. Fairfax report if you think this is just another myopic conservative's point of view.

Why oh why would anyone want to see Bob Ehrlich run for Governor again. The guy was not very much to talk about when he was in office, and even less when he was in Congress. If the GOP wants change - why not change back into the party of Abe Lincoln and other true Republicans rather than this waste of time group of losers headed by Michael Steele, Rush Limbaugh, and Dickie Chaney... There has to be a decent candidate out there to run against the Dems, but I guess it isn't practical to have a good candidate, a good politician, and a good person all wrapped into one - so lets settle for a guy who isn't even a good radio announcer...

For all of you who believe that Ehrlich didn't accomplish anything or do anything while in office, I can only assume that you don't follow State politics very closely. You see, when the entire legislative branch is so heavily left, you can't effectuate any change.

The Mikes fought him every single step of the way and caused him to have a politically ZERO administration after being shocked that the dems lost the governorship.

If you really want change in this state - vote a better balance into the Assembly. These dirt bags have been screwing up the state long enough.

I'm with you, Bar. O'Malley vs. Ehrlich is a skunk party. We haven't had 2 decent people running since Bob Pascal & Harry Hughes.

Ehrlich doesn't want to compete for Governor. He'll run only if the numbers look good enough for him to win. Mrs. Ehrlich already said as much.

No risk, no reward. O'Malley's well funded, in office, and already ahead in the polls. That's a big hill to climb.

I don't think Ehrlich is ready to risk getting beat (again). He doesn't have the guts for it. Consider the options for him (since he won't win, we can count that option out):

He runs and loses. Now he's a twice beaten candidate who's delay in declaring blocked other Republicans from campaigning.

He never runs. If that happens, forget the hot air on the radio - it's a wrap. His fickle audience will abandon him faster than Marylanders eating crabs.

So regardless of the silly nicknames Republicans call him, Governor O'Malley's numbers are strong and Ehrlich's are not.

I wish he had backed out months ago, so we could have had a legitimate debate on the issues.

Unless he gets in one way or the other, and soon, this story is over before it even begins.

I guess with the recession the law firm cut of all the free golf trips for the former Gov and he is itching to get back to that big house and slow summers. Sorry Bob but with all the state budget cuts we don't need you to impose the Golf tax on us again.

Hey Bro99,

What strong numbers are you referring to about O' Malley?

If Ehrlich is smart is would not even bother to run for Governor unless he know more conservate democrats or more republicans can get elected to the General Assembly.

If wants back into office he could run against either Dutch or even run for County Executive.

Maybe even run again Cardin for the Senate.

I am a long time Republican. But I could not vote for Ehrlich, and neither would many of my Republican friends. He is a loser, he has no ideas, and basically just wants the tile. Essentially he is lazy. I will not vote for him.

Gov. Bob Ehrlich left Maryland with a $1.5 billion surplus. Gov. Martin O'Malley spent the surplus and then passed the largest tax hike in Maryland history.

Gov. Bob Ehrlich fought for tough-on-sex offender legislation. Gov. Martin O'Malley failed to even call a board meeting of the sex offender advisory board.

Gov. Bob Ehrlich negotiated an energy deal that would have saved Marylanders thousands of dollars over the years. Gov. Martin O'Malley's hand-picked PSC rubber-stamped a 70% BGE rate hike.

This is the short side to a very long list.

Wow Mike A, so Ehrlich only wants to run if the numbers look good enough for him to win? Well, duh, man. If the numbers don't look good, the someone should'nt run, because thats called a waste of money. Of course I'm assuming ya'll think wasting money is great, since you back O'Malley and all of the other Democrats that are bleeding actual hard-working people dry.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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