- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 9, 2003

Maryland’s first lady is expecting her second child.

Kendel S. Ehrlich, wife of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., the state’s first Republican to hold the office in more than 30 years, announced the news at a fund-raiser for Mr. Ehrlich’s re-election campaign in Baltimore last night.

Mrs. Ehrlich, a lawyer who turned 42 on Wednesday, said she is due in March. She and her husband, 45, have been married 10 years and have a son, Drew Robert, 4.

Mr. Ehrlich said Drew had told them that he wanted a brother as well as a sister. “So I said, ‘Drew, we gotta talk.’”

The governor continued, “Obviously, no one was more surprised than I was. We’re very excited about it.”

The event at the Baltimore Convention Center, to which 1,600 tickets were sold, raised $150,000. It included a fashion show and dinner.

“I think it is absolutely fabulous,” Delegate Kevin Kelly, an Allegany County Democrat and family friend, said of the first couple’s news. “They are a wonderful couple and I am absolutely elated for them.”

Delegate John S. Arnick, a Baltimore Democrat who has worked with Mr. Ehrlich for more than a decade, agreed.

“Bob and Kendel are very good parents, and they come from very good parents,” Mr. Arnick said.

Mrs. Ehrlich was recently the focus of a media frenzy after she assailed the conduct of teen pop idol Britney Spears during a conference on preventing domestic violence.

She said of the Grammy Award-nominated singer’s image: “Really, if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I think I would.” Mrs. Ehrlich has since said the comments were wrong.

In remarks taped by WFMD-AM in Frederick, Md., last week, Mrs. Ehrlich talked about the need for “educating our women to get as much schooling as possible, to not become dependent on anyone else.”

“It is incredibly important to get that message to young women. You know, really, if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I think I would,” she said, laughing. “I hate to say that, but you know, like I said, I’m raising a boy … and I think, ‘Oh my goodness, what would I do if I had a daughter who is seeing these images and having peer pressure?’”

Mrs. Ehrlich told WMAR-TV in Baltimore that she stands by her message, which is that sensational images in popular culture make it difficult to raise confident young women who, in turn, will stand up against domestic violence.

Mr. Ehrlich said yesterday that his wife had made “a poor choice of words,” but he stood behind her message.

“I know she spoke for a lot of parents,” he said. “She is a very opinionated first lady, and we are very proud of her.”

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