Hogan Quits Gop Governor's Race, Expects Ehrlich To Run

February 02, 2010|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com

The Republican who has been most vocal about challenging Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley this fall has dropped out of the race.

Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. said Monday that his strong belief that former Republican 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, said recently that he'd make his intentions public in March, but probably not sooner.

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

Should Ehrlich decide not to run, Hogan said, he might get back into the race.

"I'll jump off that bridge when I come to it," he said.

Hogan revealed his decision in a long note posted Monday 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 put up more than $300,000 of his own money to run his campaign, but said that he had no interest in running if his former boss entered the race.

Ehrlich said recently that he is still deciding whether to run in heavily Democratic Maryland. After one term in office, he lost his re-election bid to O'Malley in 2006.

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