ANNAPOLIS — Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley spent about $3.5 million more than Republican former Gov. Robert Ehrlich in Maryland’s governor’s race.
The last fundraising report made public by O’Malley’s campaign on Wednesday shows that the incumbent governor spent about $11.3 million on the race. That compares with about $7.8 million spent by Ehrlich.
Ehrlich, who waited until late March to announce he was running in a rematch against O’Malley, began the race at a huge fundraising disadvantage. Ehrlich started the year with only $141,778 in his campaign account, while O’Malley had about $4.8 million.
O’Malley defeated Ehrlich by 14 percentage points in a race marred by many negative television ads. O’Malley won by 6.5 percentage points in their first race for governor in 2006.
Ehrlich’s campaign reported paying $14,000 in the reporting period to a political operative who says he sent robocalls on Election Day suggesting Democrats didn’t need to vote because O’Malley had already won. The latest payments to Julius Henson’s companies, Universal Elections and Politics Today, were reported in a finance report made public Tuesday. The Washington Post reported that the payments brought the total that Ehrlich’s campaign spent on Henson’s companies to $111,150 this year.
Ehrlich has not commented on the robocalls.
Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, a Democrat, has filed a civil complaint in federal court, alleging the calls were intended to suppress voter turnout and violated federal law. The complaint alleges more than 112,000 prerecorded calls were made, failing to identify who was responsible for them or provide a phone number as required by law.
Henson has acknowledged responsibility for the calls, which he said were not intended to suppress the vote and that he did not believe they were illegal.