Image via WikipediaToday is a good day for the state of Maryland. At the very least, it is a day that gives me some hope for the future of the state that I have called home my entire life. Former Governor, Bob Ehrlich ended months of speculation by announcing that he will be running to recapture the governorship that he lost to Martin "I never met a tax or spending program I didn't like" O'Malley in 2006.
When Ehrlich was elected governor in 2002, he was the first Republican to be elected in the state since Spiro Agnew held the seat in 1967. At the time, Ehrlich inherited budget deficits running $4 billion dollars. He brought fiscal responsibility to the state, created a business friendly environment, and left O'Malley with a $2.3 billion surplus and a healthy "rainy day fund." O'Malley quickly squandered it all.
Folks have been clamoring for Ehrlich to have a rematch with O'Malley for months. For his part, Ehrlich had been noncommittal, only stating that he was weighing several options and would only run for office if he thought there was a realistic chance that he could win. He was also weighing the possibility of running against Barbara Mikulski for the Senate seat she currently holds. I would have supported him for that as well.
It is interesting. About a month ago, I received a phone call from a group conducting an opinion poll on local politics. I do not usually respond to polls, but this particular night, I decided to answer. They asked several questions about my feelings about the general state of affairs in Maryland, and specific questions regarding O'Malley. Then they led into questions concerning a potential rematch of Ehrlich and O'Malley. It makes me think the pollsters were working for Ehrlich, and I hope that my participation in the survey in some small way helped encourage Ehrlich to run again.