The Washington Times - September 2, 2008, 07:58PM

Political activities here at the Republican National Convention are officially kicking off, but one of two former governors from the Chesapeake region is absent.

Former Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich is skipping this year’s convention. Justin Ready, executive director of the Maryland Republican Party, stressed not to read into Mr. Ehrlich’s absence.


“I think what he said is he had a lot of things he was doing,” Mr. Ready said. “There’s certainly no problem.”

Meanwhile, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore arrived at the convention Monday night after staying in-state and trading barbs on Labor Day with his rival for an open Senate seat, fellow former Gov. Mark Warner.

Mr. Gilmore, seen as a longshot in most circles to defeat his Democratic competitor, obviously has more at stake from attending the convention than Mr. Ehrlich, who lost his re-election bid in 2006.

Gilmore spokeswoman Ana Gamonal said the ex-governor plans to use the opportunity to “meet with all the party’s activists.” And she added, Mr. Gilmore is “very excited” about Sen. John McCain’s VP pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

“She shares so many of his conservative values,” Mrs. Gamonal said.


Gary Emerling reporter, The Washington Times