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Ehrlich appearing at fundraisers for multiple GOP candidates for governor of Maryland

Maryland Republican gubernatorial hopeful Ronald A. George is circulating an invitation for a fundraiser this month that will feature a special guest: former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R). Attendees, the invitation says, can get a signed copy of Ehrlich’s latest book, “America: Hope for Change.”

Sound familiar? There’s good reason.

A few weeks ago, Ehrlich was the special guest at a fundraiser for one of George’s GOP rivals, Larry Hogan. That event doubled as a book signing as well. And a similar event is in the works this month with a third Republican gubernatorial hopeful, Harford County Executive David R. Craig.

“We don’t have many names in the state on our side,” said George, an Anne Arundel County delegate, when asked to explain why he and his rivals had turned to the same person to help boost their bottom lines. “Bob’s doing what he can to help the party.”

At Hogan’s event, Ehrlich stopped short of offering an endorsement, but he said he was “really proud” of the work Hogan had done as his appointments secretary, a Cabinet-level post that involved filling hundreds of posts in the administration and on state boards and commissions. And Ehrlich called Hogan “my friend.”

George said he and Ehrlich, too, are “pretty close.”

“Bob and I are friends from way back,” George said, noting that he had introduced Ehrlich to people in Anne Arundel County when Ehrlich first ran for governor in 2002.

Ehrlich remains the only Republican governor of deep-blue Maryland in the past generation.

According to a promotional blurb, his new book “explores the causes and remedies to the seven most difficult issues confronting (and confounding) our culture and country.”

This year’s GOP primary for governor also includes Charles County businessman Charles Lollar. There’s no word yet on if and when Ehrlich will join him.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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