- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 21, 2002

ANNAPOLIS (AP) Rep. Robert Ehrlich plans to announce next week that he is seeking the Republican nomination for governor and will give up his seat in Congress, a source said Wednesday.
Mr. Ehrlich said last summer he was considering a run for governor, and his spokesman, Paul Schurick, said the encouragement he received since then "has been extraordinary." Mr. Schurick would not confirm the report yesterday.
A source close to the campaign, who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, said the announcement would be made Monday.
Republican officials and party leaders have encouraged Mr. Ehrlich to run because they consider him the only Republican with a chance to defeat Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
Maryland has not had a Republican governor since 1968, when Spiro Agnew resigned to become vice president for President Nixon.
Mr. Ehrlich, 44, was elected to Congress in 1994, and his district was redrawn substantially this year. It covers parts of Baltimore, Harford and Anne Arundel counties and a bit of Baltimore.
Mrs. Townsend has not formally announced her candidacy, but is clearly running for the Democratic nomination. Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley is considered a possible Democratic candidate. The only announced GOP candidate so far is Ross Pierpont, 84, a frequent candidate for elective office.
The primary election in Maryland is Sept. 10.


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