Will 2010 be the Year of the Political Comeback?

Five ex-governors are planning to run for their old seats.

April 7, 2010— -- Republican Bob Ehrlich officially declared his bid to reclaim the post of Maryland's governor Wednesday in Rockville, seeking the job that Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley took from him after one term in 2006.

"Welcome to history, part two," Ehrlich said to scores of supporters. "Welcome to history" was the opening line of Ehrlich's Nov. 5, 2002 victory speech.

Ehrlich's comeback bid in Maryland is part of a broader national trend.

In total, five former governors -- three Democrats and two Republicans -- are gunning for their old jobs in 2010.

They are the Grover Clevelands of state politics. The former New York governor is the only president who was elected to non-consecutive terms, in 1885 and again in 1893.

The five ex-governors who want another shot at their state's top job are California's Jerry Brown (D), Oregon's John Kitzhaber (D), Georgia's Roy Barnes (D), Iowa's Terry Branstad (R), and Maryland's Ehrlich (R).

In their current races, the former governors have the advantage of being well-known, well-connected, and well-tested.

In an interview with ABC News, Iowa's Branstad emphasized the experience he acquired during his 16 years as governor.

"We've got an inexperienced governor who is in over his head," said Branstad, referring to Democrat Chet Culver. "I was governor during some tougher times. I was governor during the farm crisis of the 1980s -- from 1983 until January of 1999."

With experience, however, comes a lengthy record which can be picked apart by opponents.

Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO who is a Republican candidate for governor of California, told ABC News in November that Brown's lengthy record of government service would not be an asset at a time when public dissatisfaction is running high with Sacramento.

"I'm not a career politician," said Whitman. "I spent 30 years in business. I can tell you that people in California have had it with career politicians: they are done. You have probably seen the Legislature has a 13 or 14 percent approval rating. That was true of Congress when I traveled with John McCain (during his 2008 presidential campaign) and he used to say: 'We're down to blood relatives and paid staffers with a 13 percent approval rating.'"

ABC News' Matt Loffman contributed to this report.

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