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State Roundup: Tuesday, Oct. 12

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From MarylandReporter.com

THE DEBATE: In their first debate of the election year, Gov. Martin O'Malley and rival Bob Ehrlich each insisted he has a better plan for jobs, education and spending taxpayer dollars wisely as Maryland emerges from a national recession, writes Julie Bykowicz and Annie Linskey of the Sun. Aaron Davis and John Wagner of the Washington Post called the atmosphere "often testy."

To view the entire debate, held at WJZ-TV studios, click on the segments on the right. You can also read Pat Warren's summary of the issues. Joseph Weber of the Washington Times said neither candidate appeared to make a major mistake. The Associated Press reports the debate in the Hagerstown Herald Mail. The Gazette's Alan Brody reports that Ehrlich almost canceled the debate when he learned that three prominent Democratic politicians had been invited by O'Malley to attend.

O'Malley and Ehrlich disagree over gay marriage, reports Dave Collins of WBAL-TV. Collins raised the issue after the debate.

WHO WON: The O'Malley camp declared victory after Monday's debate, blogs Annie Linskey of the Sun. While the Ehrlich camp kept silent, she continues.

OPINIONS: Editorial writers for the Sun say that Ehrlich missed an opportunity in this first debate. Ehrlich said he really liked the format of Monday’s debate, but, writes Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com, it’s not clear the debate format liked Ehrlich. Jean Marbella of the Sun writes, "What a difference four years don't make." Anyone looking for a clear path to a prosperous future probably went away disappointed, writes Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland.

FACT-CHECK: Annie Linskey and Julie Bykowicz of the Sun look into the truth behind the candidates' assertions.

STATE PENSIONS: The Sun's Jay Hancock takes a closer look at the candidates' views on the pension funding crisis. Columnist Marta Mossburg writes in the Sun that the state has paid chief investment officer Mansco Perry for poor performance in his handling of the pension funds.

ON DISABILITIES: Following the debate, the candidates took the stage again to share their concerns with people with disabilities, Julie Scharper reports for the Sun.

PHOTOS: View the photo gallery of Sun photographer Amy Davis, who attended the morning debate to shoot the candidates and the crowd.

POST DEBATE: The Washington Post will host a debate between Maryland O'Malley and Ehrlich at noon Thursday. Read the details here.

BIG OOPS: The Montgomery County League of Women Voters election guide mistakenly labeled Ehrlich as a Democrat in 70,000 printed copies, writes Sarah Breitenbach of the Gazette.

HEALTH CARE: The Baltimore Business Journal has updated its Q&A with Ehrlich and O'Malley's running mate, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, on health care issues.

KANE DRAWS FEW: Although hundreds of students were invited by College Republicans and a campus publication, The Terrapin Times, just 14 students turned out to meet Republican lieutenant governor candidate Mary Kane, Melissa Quijada of the Diamondback reports.

RALLYING THE BASE: Erin Cunningham of the Gazette reports how Democrats are trying to close the motivation gap with a series of rallies in Montgomery County.

MOONEY-YOUNG: Meg Tully of the Frederick News Post writes that in the race for state Senate from District 3, incumbent Alex Mooney and opponent Ron Young are slinging accusations at one another.

PUMPKIN POLITICS: Think politics is scary? Ann Marie Humphries paints her Halloween pumpkins to tout her political preferences, writes Bryan Sears of Patuxent Publishing.

SLOTS BUCKS: Opinion-makers at the Annapolis Capital say that even if slots don't come to Anne Arundel County, some businesses are currently making money over the issue.

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