O'Malley, Ehrlich make last-minute fundraising pleas

Campaigns ask for money before Tuesday's reporting deadline

Maryland Votes 2006

August 05, 2006|By ANDREW A. GREEN | ANDREW A. GREEN,SUN REPORTER

Candidates for governor and other state and local offices are scrambling to raise as much money as they can in the next three days to make a good showing before Tuesday's deadline to report on their campaign finances.

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and his likely Democratic rival, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, have sent letters and e-mails to their supporters in recent days in an effort to boost their totals.

"With less than one week until our August 8 filing deadline, the time to support our campaign for Maryland's working families is now!" wrote O'Malley campaign manager Josh White in an e-mail to supporters. "It is critical that we file with strength on August 8 to send Bob Ehrlich and George Bush's money machine the clear message that Maryland is ready to defend its working families."

Ehrlich made a similar appeal, calling on "hard-working men and women" to support his campaign to counter "the arrogance of the monopoly in Annapolis."

"I need your help again Right Now to expand my efforts to counter the liberals' attacks and promote my record of accomplishment," Ehrlich wrote. "Your immediate response is especially urgent because Maryland Law requires my campaign to take a snapshot of how much money we have raised as of August the 8th. Showing a strong campaign fundraising report at this time is critical at this point in the election cycle."

Ehrlich, who could raise as much as $20 million for this election, is almost sure to have more cash on hand than O'Malley, but the size of the gap could be indicative of how well the Democrat will be able to counter a barrage of television advertising from the incumbent Republican.

Though Ehrlich has enjoyed a large fundraising lead throughout the race - as of the last reporting period in January, he had twice as much money as O'Malley - the governor is making his appeals to donors as a self-proclaimed underdog.

Ehrlich has trailed in all published polls and faces an electorate that usually votes Democratic.

"With less then a week remaining [before the deadline], we need to raise as much money as possible to show The Baltimore Sun we are a campaign with momentum," wrote Ehrlich in another fundraising e-mail. "The final sprint to Election Day has begun and I must expand my radio and television advertising, increase my travel around the state, and print more campaign literature and yard signs as I reach out to undecided voters."

Campaign finance reports are due at the Maryland State Board of Elections on Aug. 15, a week after Tuesday's deadline for collecting money for the reporting period.

andy.green@baltsun.com

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