Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. visited Frederick on Tuesday morning for two fundraisers.
Ehrlich, a Republican, was in town for the events at Dutch's Daughter -- one for Sen. David Brinkley, followed by a more intimate reception for about 35 big-dollar Ehrlich donors.
Ehrlich is seeking to retake the governor's mansion from Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, in the Nov. 2 election.
Ehrlich expects to end the next financial reporting period with a strong fundraising report.
"Money has been very strong, our fundraising has been very strong in the last six weeks, particularly," Ehrlich said.
The next fundraising period ends Sunday with reports due by Oct. 22. It is the last report before the election.
In the last three weeks before the election, Ehrlich said his campaign will take out TV ads and campaign hard "on the ground."
He told his supporters during the fundraiser that responding to negative campaign ads is key, especially in the Washington suburbs, where TV spots are pricey. Ehrlich estimated it costs $700,000 a week to run such ads.
Polls had shown Ehrlich and O'Malley tied, until O'Malley ran negative ads against him, and Ehrlich didn't have the money to respond with his own ads, the former governor said.
"When you look at the polling numbers, it's all the Washington suburbs -- those negative ads have worked," Ehrlich said. "Negative ads work. They just do."
Ehrlich's appearance came at the heels of the first televised debate with O'Malley Monday evening.
Calling the debate fun, Ehrlich said it showed a clash of views and philosophies.
When speaking to donors, Ehrlich highlighted his priority of making Maryland more business friendly.
"We want you to flourish in Maryland, we welcome you," Ehrlich told business leaders. "We're not going to view you as a source of revenue, we're going to view you as a source of job creation."
One man at the breakfast suggested that if Ehrlich is elected, he hang a sign at the borders of the state saying, "Open for business." Supporters clapped at the idea.
Ehrlich said he's seen energy from his supporters and from people who previously hadn't been involved in politics.
"It's a cycle where our supporters can't wait to vote," Ehrlich said.