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Will the governor come calling?

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler might soon be getting a call from Gov. Martin O’Malley, if he hasn’t already received one, seeking a campaign donation.

The governor, in his solicitation, might raise the following points:

  • Gansler is running unopposed for re-election; O’Malley is not.
  • Gansler has campaign money he need not spend on himself; O’Malley does not.
  • Gansler might want to run for governor in four years; O’Malley cannot if he wins re-election this fall against Republican challenger Robert Ehrlich and is term-limited out of office.
  • Gansler, if he plans a gubernatorial run, thus has a rooting interest in O’Malley’s victory this fall, as it is easier to win an open seat than one occupied by an incumbent (O’Malley’s win over then-Gov. Ehrlich in 2006 being an exception).

But cheers of “Go, Martin, Go” do not win re-election fights. Money does — and Gansler has plenty to spare.

The attorney general might also want to spread the wealth. Donating to many Democrats in tight races this fall could be an investment that pays dividends for Gansler in 2014 when he might seek gubernatorial-campaign support.