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O’Malley, Ehrlich camps unite in Maryland campaign against federal debt

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They squared off against one another in two bitter statewide campaigns, but loyalists of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) have found a cause on which they can lock arms: federal debt reduction.

Former aides to the two governors will be among those announced at an event in Baltimore on Monday as steering committee members of the Maryland Campaign to Fix the Debt, according to organizers. The Maryland chapter is part of a national movement to convince politicians in Washington to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” and address the nation’s long-term debt.

Michael R. Enright, a former O’Malley chief of staff, and Chip DiPaula Jr., a former Ehrlich chief of staff and budget secretary, are both taking part.

So, too, are Michael Cryor, a former chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party; and Mary D. Kane, Ehrlich’s running mate in 2010, his secretary of state while in office, and the husband of John Kane, a former chairman of the Maryland Republican Party.

Other notable names on the steering committee include former congressman Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.) and former congressman Tom McMillen (D-Md.), who ran against one another in 1992.

Business leaders, including Benjamin H. Wu, a former deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and former state legislators also show up on the 20-member list.

The Maryland campaign is being managed by a public affairs firm headed by Steve Kearney, O’Malley’s former communications director.

“No other issue is as urgent or important to the welfare of our country as addressing both the immediate and long-term debt problems the U.S. currently faces,” said DiPaula, the former Ehrlich chief of staff. “The elections are over. Now it’s time for Washington to work together to create solutions.”

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