Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) has been enlisted as chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Maryland, while Rick Perry has picked two state legislators and a political consultant to lead his effort in the heavily Democratic state.

The campaigns of both leading Republican hopefuls made their announcements in recent days.

Perry’s three co-chairmen are Sen. Christopher B. Shank (R-Washington), Del. Justin D. Ready (R-Carroll) and Lawrence Scott, who along with his wife operates a political consulting firm.

Perry’s campaign also announced Wednesday that Richard E. Hug, Ehrlich’s former chief fundraiser, is helping lead the Texas governor’s fundraising efforts in Maryland.

Ehrlich explained in a statement Friday his decision to go with Romney, the former Massachusetts governor.

“After studying all the candidates, it is clear that Republicans’ best chance for beating President Obama next November is Mitt Romney,” Ehrlich said, calling Romney “the only candidate with the necessary experience to turn around our failing economy.”

Whoever wins the Republican presidential nomination will have their work cut out for them in Maryland. Obama carried the state in 2008 with nearly 62 percent of the vote.