Former Gov. Larry Hogan Launches Surprise Maryland Senate Bid, Defying Presidential Speculation

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 02/09/2024
In spite of rumors that he was thinking about running for president in a third party, former governor Larry Hogan (R) said on Friday that he would be making an unexpected run for the vacant Senate seat in Maryland.

Because this is about more than simply the divisions between the right and the left, we sorely need leaders who are prepared to confront both parties and who understand that none of us is an expert on everything or endowed with total authority. Hogan said in an advertisement introducing his Senate campaign on X, the website that was once known as Twitter, "This is about the distinction between right and wrong."

Hogan intends to submit papers early of Friday, the state's deadline for candidate filings, giving Republicans an unanticipated advantage in an already advantageous Senate map.  The first story about Hogan's anticipated run came from Politico.

According to a person with knowledge of the matter, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and its Chair, Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), vigorously lobbied for the decision. In recent months, Hogan has also communicated with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).

Hogan led the Free State from 2015 until 2023, but his tenure as governor was restricted, preventing him from seeking office a third time. As to the Gonzales survey from last year, he had an astounding 77 percent approval rating when he left office. 

Given that he had previously said he would not compete for the position in an interview with NewsNation's "The Hill" last year and his remarks in public about the possibility of a White House candidacy, the Maryland Republican's decision to run for the seat of retiring Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) came as a surprise.

Even though he declared his intention to run as a Republican last year, he hinted that he had not given up on the possibility of seeking the presidency as a third-party candidate. 

Last month, Hogan said to Kevin Cirilli of The Hill's "The Daily Debrief," "I suppose you would say there is a crack in the door." It is not what I am looking for. I really have no interest in leading a suicide mission, leaking information, or helping to elect Joe Biden or Donald Trump. I did not shut the door on it entirely. 

Republicans will probably lean heavily toward Hogan, while Democrats will probably have to decide between Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) and Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D).  

Nonetheless, Senate Democrats exuded optimism in their prospects of winning Cardin's seat.

"Electing Republican Larry Hogan means electing Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader and giving the Republicans control of the Senate to enact a federal abortion ban. Representative for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), Maeve Coyle, said in a statement that "Democrats have won every statewide federal election in Maryland for 44 years, and 2024 will be no different." 

Even though Hogan's Senate candidacy might make the race more competitive, Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, originally graded Cardin's seat as "solid Democrat."


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