Friday, March 26, 2010

Ehrlich '79 rumored to announce run for governor of Maryland

There has been growing speculation that Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. ’79 will announce his bid to be the next governor of Maryland in early April. According to the Washington Post, Ehrlich (R) has not yet confirmed a specific announcement date but was quite talkative about the possibility of doing so. Ehrlich had previously been the governor of the state from 2003 to 2007 before losing to current governor Martin O'Malley (D).

Ehrlich’s lead up to the announcement has been anything but consistent. In March, reporters were caught off guard when he announced that he has not ruled out running against incumbent Barbara A. Mikulski (D) for one of the Maryland’s Senate seats. Prior to being the governor, he had served four terms as the House of Representatives. However, his aides were quickly added that the former governor was not seriously considering this path.

Ehrlich is known to be very pro-business. In 2006, he vetoed the controversial Fair Share Health Care Bill, which forced any corporation with more than 10,000 employees to either spend eight percent of their payroll on employee health care, or pay that amount to a state health-care fund. The veto was overturned by the Maryland Legislature, but the bill was later overruled because it violated a federal law.

Republicans in the state believe that Ehrlich will stand a better chance this election due to unpopular budget cuts instated by Gov. O’Malley. Ehrlich and O’Malley have long debated budget and spending, even after the 2006 gubernatorial elections. Experts say that running his own radio talk show has also helped Ehrlich “stay in the conversation” in the past few years.

At Princeton, Ehrlich was the captain of the football team and a member of Cap and Gown Club.

By Sean Wu, staff writer for News