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Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Declares Candidacy for Senate

Credits: The Sun

Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared his candidacy for the United States Senate, presenting Republicans with a robust contender in their endeavor to flip a Senate seat in a traditionally blue state.

Hogan, 67, announced his bid on X, asserting that Washington is “completely broken” and he is “completely fed up with politics as usual.”

Renowned for his moderate record as governor, Hogan gained prominence for his readiness to criticize fellow Republican Donald Trump, a stance that may influence the Senate race and the broader battle for control, where Democrats hold a one-seat advantage.

Larry Hogan (Credits: The Independent)

Expressing frustration with the prevailing political landscape, Hogan emphasized the need for a departure from electing typical partisan politicians. He announced, “Enough is enough. We can do so much better, but not if we keep electing the same kind of typical partisan politicians.”

Hogan’s entry into the race has implications not only for the Maryland contest but also for the overall Senate control dynamics, given Democrats’ slim majority and their vulnerability in several Republican-leaning states.

Republicans welcomed Hogan’s decision, with political adviser Josh Holmes expressing the sentiment that many would pay to witness Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s reaction.

Two years ago, prominent Republicans, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, urged Hogan to challenge Sen. Chris Van Hollen. They envisioned him as a moderate force with substantial influence in a closely divided Senate, akin to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Despite initial reservations, Hogan kept taking meetings and considering the opportunity. However, in the expected favorable Republican election year of 2022, he chose not to run, completing his gubernatorial term and contemplating a potential 2024 presidential bid.

While Hogan initially rejected running in the Republican primary, his alignment with the No Labels group waned, leading to his departure from the board and abandonment of his White House aspirations.

The 2024 Senate race in Maryland is open, with Democrats Angela Alsobrooks and Rep. David Trone competing in a primary to succeed retiring Sen. Ben Cardin.

Hogan’s popularity as governor doesn’t necessarily guarantee a smooth path within the GOP, as the state party has embraced Trump, whom Hogan criticized. Facing potential challenges from the right wing of the party, Hogan filed his candidacy strategically, minimizing the risk of a Republican primary challenge.

Democrats swiftly sought to nationalize the race, framing a vote for Hogan as a move toward making Mitch McConnell Majority Leader and potentially passing a national abortion ban. Maryland, a traditionally Democratic stronghold, hasn’t elected a Republican to the Senate since 1980.

Hogan’s tenure as governor faced numerous challenges, including the Baltimore riots, a global pandemic, and a personal battle with cancer.

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