Brian Murphy gets a dog, and maybe a friend

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There’s an old saying, often attributed to President Harry Truman, that “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”

Brian Murphy sure needs friends in the Maryland Republican Party, so Tuesday night, he bought a dog. Murphy, a 33-year-old businessman from Chevy Chase running against Bob Ehrlich in the GOP primary, bid $1,000 at the Howard County Lincoln Day dinner for an English-style Labrador retriever puppy that he’s going to name Lady Baltimore.

Murphy said he’s going to bring the dog home Saturday for his four kids (I hope we’re not ruining the surprise).

But other than a short introduction earlier in the evening, the bidding on the dog was probably the most attention Murphy got from the 200 people at the dinner.

“They do everything they can to make sure I don’t speak,” Murphy said, still chafing. It’s typical at all the GOP dinners he’s been attending that Ehrlich gets to make a speech, as he did Tuesday night, and Murphy gets to wave at the crowd, as do other candidates for state office.

Ehrlich told the crowd, “We will be here a lot. We will win Howard County.”

But Murphy still insists he has a fighting chance statewide against the former Republican governor, whom he says is not a true fiscal conservative.

“If I didn’t believe I could win, I wouldn’t be wasting my time,” said Murphy, who hasn’t sought public office before. Instead, he’d be home tucking in his kids.

BTW, the best information available, coming from the Truman Library, says the old man probably never said the dog quote, and didn’t own a dog. Maybe he didn’t need a friend.

–Len Lazarick

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.

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