By Rick Ritter

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)–Down to the wire. Republican candidates hoping to snag the governor’s seat are making their final push as voters get ready to cast their ballots.

Rick Ritter has details from the Republican party.

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History is not on their side. Only one Republican has been elected governor of Maryland in the last 48 years.

Still, candidates tell WJZ they feel like they drove their messages home and they’re loving their chances.

Signs in hands, final waves and one honk after the other, Republican candidates make their final push with less than 24 hours until the primary election.

“We’re feeling a lot of excitement and a lot of support out there,” said Larry Hogan.

Frontrunner Larry Hogan goes full tilt, making one last stop in Arnold, vowing for change.

“We’re going to cut spending and roll back as many as these O’Malley-Brown tax increases as we can,” Hogan said.

In Nottingham, Harford County Executive David Craig finds time to settle down for lunch at Silver Spring Mining Company.

“This is my 21st election, so I’m pretty used to this,” Craig said.

Craig believes his experience in Harford will help sway voters.

“We do want to lower your taxes and help the economy of Maryland bounce back to the way it used to be,” Craig said.

Ron George has been targeting unemployment, but like his competition in the Republican party, is most focused on tax cuts.

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“The employees are seeing it from the business owner. They’re getting it. They see them cutting every corner and trying to hang on to their employees,” George said.

The businessman, Charles Lollar, wants to make strides with Maryland’s environment.

“I want to bring common sense and an ethical approach to our environment, education, smart growth and business development,” Lollar said.

He feels he’s up to the challenge.

Even though Democrats outnumber Republicans two-to-one  Maryland, Republican candidates say they’re not concerned, and they still like their chances.

“People, regardless of their party affiliation, want to see a change of direction,” Hogan said.

“Well, listen, it’s time to try something new, right? When something is not working you have to at least explore the alternative,” one voter said.

All four candidates say they’re taking a positive approach in working with Democrats.

“You work with people face-to-face and in my career I’ve defeated incumbent Democrats every time,” Craig said.

They’re hoping dissatisfaction with the status quo will help their chances.

“To me, the Democratic Party is more about just spending money they don’t have,” said Nancy Walls, Harford County.

Just a reminder: polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m. and remain open until 8 p.m.

Maryland’s last Republican governor was Bob Ehrlich back in 2002.

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Rick Ritter