From the Baltimore Sun
Ehrlichs host thank-you bash for hundreds of the faithful
Governor lists accomplishments, urges group not to give up
By Chris Emery
January 15, 2007
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. received a rock star's welcome yesterday
from the still-faithful - people who were delighted when he won
election in 2002 and deeply disappointed by his loss in November to
Packed into an exhibition hall at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in
Timonium, hundreds of the outgoing governor's devotees, many of whom
had volunteered in his re-election campaign, cheered and waved signs
reading "We Love Our Gov!"
Joined on stage by family and friends, Ehrlich thanked the crowd for
backing him and outlined what he considered the key accomplishments of
his Republican administration, including education, environmental, and
He also acknowledged collective disappointment among his supporters
that Baltimore's mayor would be taking over Wednesday, putting both the
executive and legislative branches of the state government firmly under
"I know what you're hearing and reading is distressing," Ehrlich said.
"This is going to be a tough road to watch and listen as things unfold
After explaining he had received e-mails from conservatives so
displeased by the election results that they had considered leaving
Maryland, Ehrlich urged patience. "Do not give up on Maryland," he
said. "Do not be defeated. I'm going to ask you to compete with me in
order the save this state."
Ehrlich said the main reason he threw the free event, which was paid
for with campaign funds and included food and live music, was to thank
those who were key to his political success as a congressman and
Originally scheduled for Saturday, the event was pushed back a day so
the governor and likely many of his supporters could attend or watch
the Ravens' playoff game.
At the party, Christmas ornaments in three patterns commissioned by
Ehrlich's wife, Kendel, were sold for $10 each to raise money for
portraits of the couple to hang in the State House. Terry Ferguson of
Annapolis, who bought a three-ornament set, said she thought Ehrlich
had done a terrific job balancing the state budget and protecting the
"I'm a huge fan," she said. "He's very approachable; he feels like one
She described Ehrlich's election loss as "the end of the world as we
know it" and blamed what she saw as biased media coverage and
obstructionist strategies by Democratic leadership in the General
Assembly. She cited past legislative battles over allowing slot
machines in the state as an example of Democratic legislators
undermining the Ehrlich administration.
"You watch - we'll get slots now that O'Malley is governor," she said,
echoing comments of several others there. "They couldn't allow them
when Ehrlich was in because they didn't want him to accomplish
Attendees received a glossy booklet outlining what Ehrlich sees as his
major accomplishments. It highlights his work on school funding, the
Intercounty Connector highway project, reducing pollutants in the
Chesapeake Bay, establishing the state's Department of Disabilities and
balancing the state budget. The first chapter is titled, "Making
Rodney E. Galles of Millersville said he thought Ehrlich would be
remembered as a good leader who helped create a more balanced state
government. "It was nice to have someone willing to wield the veto pen
and say no to new taxes," said Galles, who attended the party with his
The couple said they were elated when Ehrlich became the first
Republican governor in Maryland since 1966. "I couldn't believe it,"
Rodney Galles said. "We almost felt like we had to go outside and
Despite being registered Democrats, Mike and Barbara Takesian of
Rosedale said they have supported Ehrlich since he represented Maryland
in Congress. "We think he did a lot for the state," Mike Takesian said.
"He always just seemed to be a down-to-earth person."
Takesian said he thinks Maryland politics hasn't heard the last of
Ehrlich. "He's competent," Takesian said. "I want to see what he'll do."
In a recent interview with The Sun, Ehrlich said that after leaving
office he will probably go to work for a law firm and might start a
consulting firm with some of his staffers. Speaking to the crowd
yesterday, however, Kendel Ehrlich hinted that her husband's political
career is not ending.
"If I have anything to do with it, public service is not over for Bob
Ehrlich," she said, drawing thunderous applause. "Someone famous said
'I'll be back,' and he will."
Copyright © 2007, The Baltimore Sun