Hogan exits race, urging Ehrlich to enter
Amedori announces she'll run for U.S. Senate
Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. bowed out of the Republican gubernatorial race Monday, calling on his former boss, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., to enter the campaign against Gov. Martin O'Malley.
Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown said Friday that he didn't think Ehrlich had much of a record to run on, in case he does try to reclaim the governorship.
Also on the election front, Carmen Amedori, a former delegate, announced she was running for U.S. Senate.
Hogan, who was Ehrlich's appointments secretary and runs a commercial real estate firm in Annapolis, launched an exploratory committee in September to determine whether to challenge O'Malley (D). From the start, he said he would drop out if Ehrlich (R) decided to run.
Although Ehrlich said last week that he isn't likely to announce his plans until March, Hogan said he became convinced that his former boss will give it a go.
"People have made the mistake of thinking I'm getting out of the race, but I was never in the race," he said in an interview.
Hogan said he had not spoken with Ehrlich as of Monday afternoon, several hours after informing his supporters and the media that he would end his bid.
Hogan raised more than $22,000 since launching his exploratory process and put up $325,000 of his own money. He has not determined whether to seek another seat in the fall. He ruled out running for the General Assembly, but would not eliminate other possibilities, including for statewide or federal offices.
Henry P. Fawell, a spokesman for Ehrlich, said the former governor would not change his intention to announce his election plans in March.
"The governor's position remains the same as it has been for the past several weeks. Like every taxpayer in Maryland, he's going to watch this legislative session very closely," Fawell said.
In a Friday interview, Brown said he didn't believe Ehrlich had much of a record to run on.
"I don't think that's change Marylanders will be ready to stomach," Brown (D) said.
Although O'Malley and Brown pushed through a sweeping series of tax increases in 2007, the lieutenant governor said the hikes were necessary because of the structural deficit Ehrlich left the state.
"Our actions were tough not politically popular, raising taxes never is but necessary because of the gaping hole that our predecessor left us," Brown said.
Meanwhile, Amedori would be the third Republican to file a candidacy for U.S. Senate. Daniel W. McAndrew and Jim Rutledge, both of Forest Hill, have filed to run as Republican candidates for senator, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections. Eric Wargotz, a Queen Anne's County commissioner and pathologist, also is planning to run for the seat.
"It's not something on a whim. It's something I've been wanting all my life," said Amedori, who spent five and a half years in the House of Delegates representing a Carroll County district before Ehrlich appointed her to the Maryland Parole Commission.
The winner of the Sept. 14 Republican primary is likely to face U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who is seeking a fifth term.
Defeating Mikulski, a Baltimore Democrat, could be an uphill climb for any Republican. A January poll by Gonzales Research and Marketing of Annapolis put her approval rating at 64 percent, higher than President Barack Obama and Gov. Martin O'Malley.
"Sen. Mikulski has been in office for four terms. I'm sure she has helped a lot of constituents. I'm sure her constituent service has been excellent. But they have not met Carmen Amedori," Amedori said. "I know how to provide for my constituency. And I would hope that anyone who has covered a seat for that long would have that kind of approval rating. But that's not going to deter me."
Amedori, 54, said she would work to remove excess regulations.
"For every law or regulation that people are out there supporting, I would work hard to repeal three or four others," she said.
Amedori served in the House of Delegates until 2004, when Ehrlich appointed her to the Parole Commission. That appointment ended in January.
Staff Writer Alan Brody contributed to this report.