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Barth on crossing party lines for Ehrlich

Four years ago, Andy Barth was a Democrat. He ran and lost in the Democratic primary won by Rep. John Sarbanes. This year, he was the voice of the most prominent Republican in Maryland, when he became spokesman for former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

So what made Barth cross the aisle for Ehrlich? With the election over, the former TV reporter answered some questions for Larry Carson's Howard County Political Notebook.

A few excerpts are below:

Barth said his work for Ehrlich was based on a personal respect formed over a period of years.

“I never thought of this as a political decision,” he said. “I covered him starting in 1994 when he first ran for Congress. I thought then this was an honest and decent guy I would love to work for, but I filed it away.” Barth was a reporter for more than 35 years, both at Baltimore’s WMAR (Channel 2) and later for Washington station WTTG (Channel 5). He also once sought the presidency of the Columbia Association.

Bottom line, Barth said he preferred Ehrlich to O’Malley, who won the election by double digits.

“I thought of the two people running, Bob Ehrlich was the better choice in terms of character and values. I wish people would get past the partisanship that has people vote on party labels.”

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