The first television ad for Republican candidate for governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is out, and it's filled with sunny images and a call to action.

Ehrlich, who is trying to win back the post from Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley, calls the spot "Let's Get to Work." It debuted early Sunday morning on Facebook, the social media site that he has used for other major announcements, including his selection of running mate.


It'll air in the Baltimore media market, where O'Malley's ads have been playing for weeks. Stations WBAL and WJZ confirm Ehrlich's ads will air until Sept. 19, costing him more than $150,000.

There isn't much to analyze in Ehrlich's 30-second spot. He makes no claims, makes no specific promises and refrains from directly attacking O'Malley. Rather, he uses a few simple phrases meant to motivate voters:

"Today, Maryland is in trouble," he says, in front of the Annapolis State House.

"We're worse off than we were four years ago... dangerous debt, higher taxes, not enough jobs. We need real leadership to turn this state around."

Others in the ad briefly discuss the budget, small businesses, the Chesapeake Bay and schools. Ehrlich is joined at the end of the ad by his family.

"It's why I'm running," he says, as wife Kendel Ehrlich gazes at him. "To make the state we love not just good, but great. Now let's get down to work."

The Sun's longtime television critic gives the ad rave reviews. Hop over to his blog, Z on TV, to check it out.

O'Malley has been on television most of the summer, spending about $160,000 per week, with a series of ads that feature business owners praising his handling of the national economic recession. Z on TV called those spots "smart."

So far, at least, both major gubernatorial candidates seem to want to stay positive on TV -- a striking contrast from O'Malley's early radio attack ads, that included one called "Big Oil Bob."

Underdog Republican challenger Brian Murphy also has a television ad out. It is airing daily during Fox's Glenn Beck show until the primary election.