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O’Malley’s Campaign Against Wisconsin Gov. Causes Grudge With Va. Gov.

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Bob McDonnell , O'Malley
PatWarrenWebPhoto Pat Warren
Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley may have a stake in Tuesday’s vote on whether to recall Wisconsin’s Republican governor.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains the governor campaigned for the Democratic challenger and the Republicans fired back.

As Wisconsin voters go to the polls to decide whether to replace their Republican governor with a Democrat, the governor of Virginia is running negative campaign ads against Maryland’s Gov. O’Malley.

How does a voter recall in Wisconsin become a grudge match between Maryland and Virginia?

Governor O’Malley and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell chair their respective party’s governors associations.

O’Malley campaigned in Wisconsin last week to help the Democratic challenger defeat the Republican incumbent.

“A state that’s tried to, where the governor’s tried to become the poster boy for rolling back women’s rights, rolling back voters’ rights, rolling back workers’ rights,” O’Malley said.

O’Donnell and the Republican Governors Association responded with an ad slamming O’Malley as a poster boy for tax increases, but O’Malley defends his approach as balanced.

“It’s nothing that any of us particularly want to do,” O’Malley said. “I’ve found the people of our state if you’re straight about it and you’re making government work and making cuts, they’re willing to be part of the solution as well.”

And as party leaders, O’Malley and McDonnell are sure to continue locking horns.

“I think most people appreciate seeing the two of us together, particularly if we can maintain a civility and a high level to the discourse and that’s what I’ve tried to do rather than hit and run press releases,” O’Malley said.

But maybe once in a while, take artistic license.

“Are you from Virginia?” O’Malley asked an audience member during a recent performance with his band, O’Malley’s March.

“Yes!” she responded.

“We look forward to your liberation,” O’Malley said.

This could be a long election year.

Wisconsin election officials are expecting a near record turnout.

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