An exclusive interview with former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., who has announced he is a candidate for Maryland Governor can be heard on the Parents and PGCPS website an EduSocial Network for engaged parents and dedicated educators. Mr. Ehrlich will appear on eCommunity Affairs. The show is airing now. To join the conversation visit Parents and PGCPS.
Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. was Maryland's 60th governor. Governor Ehrlich was elected to lead Maryland in November 2002 after promising to restore fiscal responsibility to state government and bring needed change to a political monopoly that had dominated Annapolis for decades. The Governor made good on his promises, turning $4 billion in deficits into a $2.4 billion surplus and appointing the most politically diverse and qualified cabinet in Maryland's history.
Growing up in ArbutusGovernor Ehrlich was born in 1957 in Arbutus, Maryland, a small, working-class suburb of Baltimore City. His mother, Nancy, was a legal secretary. Bob Sr., a former Marine and Korean War veteran, worked as a commission salesman at Archway Ford in Baltimore for 37 years. In 1967, the Ehrlich family moved out of an apartment and into a row house on Dolores Avenue, where Mr. and Mrs. Ehrlich still live today.
Education Governor Ehrlich won scholarships to the Gilman School in Baltimore and later to Princeton University. While at Gilman, Governor Ehrlich was named captain of the football team and won all-state and all-American honors. His academic and football success continued at Princeton University, where he studied political science and co-captained the football team. To make ends meet, he sold sandwiches door to door at night, and worked construction jobs on the weekends. After graduating from Princeton in 1979, Governor Ehrlich entered the Wake Forest University School of Law, where he worked as an graduate assistant football coach to earn extra money, while attending classes during the day.
Legal Career After Governor Ehrlich finished law school in 1982, he moved back to Maryland to work for the Baltimore law firm of Ober, Kaler, Grimes, and Shriver, where he practiced for more than a decade. While working as an attorney, Governor Ehrlich ran successfully for the House of Delegates, where he was known for a collegial style that helped him build bridges - and forge lasting friendships - across the political aisle. He was a member of the House Judiciary Committee, the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics, and fought for the rights of children on the Governor's Council on Child Abuse and Neglect.
Public OfficeIn 1994, Bob Ehrlich was elected to the United States House of Representatives. While serving in Congress, he helped craft the first balanced budget in a generation, sponsored legislation to protect innocent spouses from IRS abuse, authored legislation to help blind and disabled citizens return to the workplace, and led efforts to stiffen penalties on criminals convicted of gun violence. Congressman Ehrlich was a leading advocate for small business owners and helped provide record tax relief to the American people.
Bob Ehrlich's historic election as governor in 2002 ended the monopoly's grasp on government and began a legacy of reform. In addition to balancing the budget, Governor Ehrlich defeated $7.5 billion in tax hikes proposed by the Maryland General Assembly, while increasing public school funding by record levels. He enacted Maryland's first-ever charter schools law, establishing 15 charter schools benefiting more than 3,000 students in just three years.
Governor Ehrlich doubled investments in college need-based scholarships, helping 12,000 students go to college. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation called Governor Ehrlich's Bay Restoration Act, “the most important pollution-reducing initiative in the state in 20 years.” The Governor's plan will reduce pollution into the Bay by seven million pounds per year—cutting current levels nearly in half.
More than 100,000 net new private-sector jobs were created during his time as Governor. Maryland's unemployment rate was one of the lowest in the nation at approximately 4 percent and its welfare rate is at its lowest level since 1962.
Former Governor Ehrlich is married to Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich, a former assistant public defender and assistant state’s attorney. The Ehrlichs are the proud parents of two sons, Drew and Joshua.