Larry Hogan ponders Maryland Senate race

Larry Hogan ponders Maryland Senate race
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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is not ruling out a Senate bid in 2022, although the Republican is thought to be more interested in running for president in 2024.

Hogan told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt he would consider challenging Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen in the midterm elections, a development that could open another Senate seat as Republicans aim to recapture control of the narrowly divided chamber. Maryland is a heavily Democratic state, but Hogan was reelected in 2018 with 55.4% of the vote, suggesting he might be able to wage a competitive Senate campaign.

“We’ve got a long time to figure that out,” Hogan said Thursday, without committing to a timeline for making a final decision.

When Hewitt pressed the governor, suggesting that being elected to the Senate would make him a more formidable presidential contender, he indicated that he was hearing the same sales pitch from other prominent Republicans who want him to run, name-checking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Florida Sen. Rick Scott, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

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Twin obstacles stand in the way of a Hogan Senate campaign.

To begin with, the broad support he has enjoyed as governor could evaporate in the context of a race for federal office. Because although liberal and conservative voters periodically cross the aisle when choosing their statewide constitutional office holders, they are much less willing to do so in campaigns for president and the Senate, with cultural and social issues and Supreme Court nominations at play.

And last year, in Maryland, Joe Biden defeated then-President Donald Trump 65.4% to 32.2%.

Indeed, a key factor in Hogan’s political success in Maryland is that he never supported Trump for president and was among his most outspoken GOP critics. The governor was so critical of Trump, possibly more so than any other elected Republican with a national profile, that he was aggressively recruited by Never Trump Republicans to challenge the 45th president in the 2020 GOP primary.

After much consideration, Hogan turned them down, concluding the contest was akin to a kamikaze mission. But the governor’s interest in the presidency has not waned, and he believes Trump’s loss and fixation on the 2020 contest with spurious claims that it was stolen might have opened the door to a Republican like him, especially with most other Republicans likely to run as heirs to the Trump legacy.

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In his interview with Hewitt, Hogan made clear a presidential bid is where his heart is.

“I’ve been saying for a long time that I don’t have a lot of interest in the Senate,” the governor said. “It’s just not the kind of job for me. I’m more of an executive. I’m running a $50 billion dollar a year budget with 60,000 employees and making decisions every day. And you know, I’ve spent my whole life as a business executive. And being one of 100 people yelling and arguing in Washington and getting nothing done doesn’t have a great appeal to me.”

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Tags: News, Campaigns, 2022 Elections, 2024 Elections, Larry Hogan, Maryland, Donald Trump

Original Author: David M. Drucker

Original Location: Larry Hogan ponders Maryland Senate race