Maryland's first lady announces new addition to Government House

Ehrlich family expecting second child in March

October 10, 2003|By David Nitkin | David Nitkin,SUN STAFF

First lady Kendel Ehrlich said she often receives compliments about bringing life to the staid governor's mansion. And now, she confirmed last night, she will be adding one more.

"We want to formally announce we are bringing another life to the house," she told a crowd of about 1,500 at the Baltimore Convention Center, where she was host of a fashion-show fund-raiser for her husband.

The first lady said she and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. are expecting their second child in mid-March. They have a son, Drew, 4. The announcement comes a day after her 42nd birthday; the governor is 45.

"No one was more surprised about it than I was," said the governor, who donned a tuxedo to join his wife and son on an elevated walkway used by the show's models.

The Ehrlichs have not learned the gender of their coming baby. "Drew will have a little brother or sister," Kendel Ehrlich said.

The large crowd applauded warmly as the public address system played "Oops I Did It Again," by Britney Spears.

Kendel Ehrlich made international headlines this week, saying at a domestic violence conference that she would like to "shoot" Spears because the pop star is a poor role model for children. She later apologized for the remark.

Attendees at the fashion show, who contributed $150,000 to the Ehrlich re-election campaign, said they were thrilled by the news.

"Isn't it wonderful," said JoAnn Thompson of Towson, a former restaurant owner. "Isn't it neat to have somebody young in the mansion? The state is thrilled about it."

Government House may not be well equipped to handle an infant. Thompson and others said that the Ehrlichs installed a bathtub for Drew after they arrived in January. The historic home did not have one.

The new Ehrlich would become the second newborn in less than two years to occupy the mansion. Then-Gov. Parris N. Glendening and his wife, Jennifer E. Crawford, had a girl, Gabrielle, in August 2002 - the first birth to the family of a sitting Maryland governor in 123 years.

"I think it's fantastic," said Jennifer Diamond of Lutherville. "I'm looking forward to a new Ehrlich addition."

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