If this is an election year that’s supposed to bring a political sea change, why are so many ex-lawmakers dusting off their campaign signs and running to get their old jobs back?
Former Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich this week became the latest ousted official to throw his hat back in the ring. The Republican — whose single term was marked by bitter clashes with the Maryland press and Democratic legislature — is expected next week to launch what will surely be a nasty rematch against Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley, who beat him in 2006.
Ehrlich will become at least the fifth ex-governor to try for a sequel this year — along with former Republican Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa and former Democratic Govs. Jerry Brown of California, Roy Barnes of Georgia and John Kitzhaber of Oregon. Former Republican Sen. Dan Coats is bidding for his former seat in Indiana. And former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee is running as an independent for governor in Rhode Island.
The Democrats appear to be facing a tougher battle to reclaim their seats. But for Republican ex-officials, the motivation seems clear:
They might actually win this year.