Maryland wasn't really a serious contender for the Northrop Grumman headquarters that is moving to Virginia instead, said Republican gubernatorial hopeful Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. during a stop at a Columbia auto accessory business hit hard by the recession.
"This is not a regional deal, this is a Maryland deal," said Ehrlich at E and G Classics, referring to O'Malley's message welcoming the west coast headquarters to the region. "According to sources widely reported, Maryland was never in the game, we were just used for leverage. I don't want Maryland to be used as the junior varsity team. It appears we were never taken seriously."
Sen. Allan H. Kittleman, the Senate minority leader, said things "would have been a whole lot different if we had Ehrlich back in 2006. We would have had a lot better chance." Ehrlich was elected governor in 2003, O'Malley replaced him in 2007. Both men are now competing for another chance at the job.
Tom Russell, O'Malley's campaign manager, responded by disputing Ehrlich's claim. "Clearly we were in the running for it. We didn't get it," he said. "I think Mr. Ehrlich's rhetoric is more rhetoric than reality on this."