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The Republican Governors Association has made a last-minute television ad buy to buoy GOP nominee Larry Hogan.

The national group put $289,000 behind ads in the D.C. media market that will begin airing Thursday, two people familiar with the purchase said.

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The RGA, a national group dedicated to electing GOP governors, has already spent more than $500,000 on television in Maryland to help Hogan in his underdog race against Democrat Anthony G. Brown.

The new spending comes as RGA chairman N.J. Gov. Chris Christie announced he would attend a rally Sunday evening for Hogan, Christie's fourth visit to the state in recent weeks.

Most public polls show Brown with a modest lead over Hogan in the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Martin O'Malley, but the race is unexpectedly close given that Democrats outnumber Republicans by 2 to 1 in Maryland.

The governor's race has drawn an unusual amount of national attention this year.

Brown, the lieutenant governor, has been backed by more than $1 million in ads by the Democratic Governors Association. He'll also get his own boost from a Democratic political star Thursday when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosts a rally on Brown's behalf.

Thursday also marks the final day of early voting before the Nov. 4 election. Early voting locations throughout the state will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday.

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