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Prominent national GOP leaders rally around Hogan

With polls showing a competitive race in strongly Democratic Maryland, top Republican leaders from around the country are coming to the aid of GOP gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan, his campaign reports.

Among the prominent Republicans who have recently written letters on Hogan's behalf are 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., former state Lt. Gov. and Republican national Chairman Michael S. Steele and former Florida governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush, the campaign announced Thursday.

Meanwhile, Hogan is expecting ground reinforcements from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge. Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will make his second appearance on behalf of Hogan in recent months at a breakfast reception Tuesday in Potomac. Ridge, who served as secretary of homeland security in President George W. Bush's administration, will come to Gambrills Monday for an evening reception.

The high-profile assistance comes as Hogan has closed to within 7 points of Democratic candidate Anthony G. Brown in a recent Baltimore Sun Poll that also found Hogan's support firmer than his rival's. The authoritative Cook Political Report recently moved the Maryland race from its Solidly Democratic column to Leans Democratic, giving Republicans hope of repeating the upset they scored in 2002 when Ehrlich was elected.
The Hogan announcement brought a sharp reply from the Brown camp.
“This just proves that Larry Hogan’s No. 1 priority is the ultra-conservative national Republican agenda. He’s just another career right-wing politician who will put the wealthiest corporations before working families and middle-class tax relief," said campaign manager Justin Schall.

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