Baltimore-area Republican voters, who have endured months of television ads for Democratic candidates for governor on local broadcast stations, will get to hear a pitch from one of their own when Larry Hogan goes on the air in the low-budget GOP primary.
Hogan's campaign announced Thursday that it has bought time on Baltimore stations for an ad it has already been running on cable -- a less expensive medium -- in which Hogan criticizes Gov. Martin O'Malley's economic policies. Hogan is the first of the four GOP contenders who has been able to afford broadcast TV time in the Baltimore media market.
The former Ehrlich administration official's ad buy is made possible by his his successful fund-raising effort compared to his rivals -- Harford County Executive David R. Craig, Del. Ron George of Anne Arundel County and Charles County conservative activist Charles Lollar,
Hogan is the only Republican candidate to raise the minimum amount in small individual donations to qualify for public financing. Craig and George tried but fell short. Lollar missed the deadline to apply. Hogan has supplemented his contributions and state matching funds with a personal loan to his campaign of $500,000.
The ad buy in Maryland's largest media market could further solidify Hogan's lead. In a recent Baltimore Sun poll, Hogan led with 27 percent of the vote, with Lollar and Craig at 12 percent and George with 6 percent.