Former Maryland Republican governor Larry Hogan has thrown his hat into the ring for the state’s open Senate seat, shocking Democrats in the heavily blue state. Hogan, who served as governor from 2015 to 2023, has announced his campaign with a bold promise to “stand up to both parties.”
“I am running for the United States Senate – not to serve one party – but to stand up to both parties, fight for Maryland, and fix our nation’s broken politics,” Hogan said in a post on X announcing his campaign. “It’s what I did as Maryland’s governor, and it’s exactly how I’ll serve Maryland in the Senate. Let’s get back to work.”
Hogan’s sudden decision to launch a Senate bid has left many wondering why he had a change of heart. Just last year, he had ruled out any interest in running for the seat being vacated by retiring Democratic senator Ben Cardin. It seems that Hogan’s hand was forced by National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Steve Daines, who has been desperate to secure a GOP majority in 2024. As the saying goes, “politics makes strange bedfellows.”
Despite Hogan’s conservative party affiliation, he has proven to be quite popular among Democrats during his tenure as governor. In fact, a Gonzales poll showed that he had 81% approval among Democrats. However, his popularity amongst both parties may be due to his moderate leanings, as he has been a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump. This move to distance himself from the polarizing figure may be seen as a calculated political move to appeal to a wider range of voters.
Hogan’s decision to step down as co-chair of No Labels, a group pushing for a third-party presidential candidate, has also raised speculation that he is positioning himself for a presidential run. His resignation was seen as a bold move, but also a signal that he intends to focus on securing a Senate seat first. It seems that Hogan sees himself as the true embodiment of a “compromise candidate,” pushing for a more moderate approach to politics.
In his announcement video, Hogan makes it clear that he is “fed up with politics as usual.” He accuses politicians in Washington of being more interested in arguing than getting things done for the people they represent. These strong words have certainly caught the attention of both Democrats and Republicans, who are now wondering if Hogan’s campaign will deliver on its promise to shake up the political landscape.
Hogan’s bid for the Senate is historic, as no Republican has been elected to the Senate from Maryland since 1987. This fact alone has piqued the interest of both parties, as the race is sure to be highly contested. Hogan’s opponents will have to contend with his strong approval ratings and appeal to both sides of the political aisle. But with Maryland’s junior Senator Chris Van Hollen (D) already in office and facing re-election in 2022, Democrats will be working hard to maintain their stronghold on the state.
Despite being a RINO (Republican In Name Only), Hogan’s popularity in Maryland cannot be denied. He may be a thorn in the side of party leaders, but his appeal to a wide range of voters makes him a formidable opponent. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer may be taken aback by Hogan’s entry into the race, as it has thrown a wrench in the Democrats’ plans to maintain control of the Senate.
According to Fox News:
“That is Chuck Schumer’s nightmare,” Chalian told Bash, referring to the Democratic Senate Majority Leader. “To take a bad map for Democrats and make it worse – and it is a very rough map for Democrats.”
The Senate is currently split 51-49 in favor of Democrats, but Democrats are defending 23 of the 34 seats up for election this year.
Chalian explained that Democrats are battling to keep seats in “very red states” like in Montana and Ohio where Sens. Jon Tester and Sherrod Brown, respectively, are seeking re-election.
“Now you’re taking a blue state and bringing a very popular former Republican governor onto this map,” Chalian said. “Maryland was not on anybody in the Democratic universe’s board of something that they would have to spend money on or be concerned about, and that’s going to drain resources away from the fights in Montana and Ohio.”
Only time will tell if Hogan’s campaign for the Senate will be successful. But one thing is for sure, Democrats and Republicans alike will be watching closely to see if his promise to stand up to both parties will bring about any real change in Washington.
I am running for the United States Senate – not to serve one party – but to stand up to both parties, fight for Maryland, and fix our nation’s broken politics. It’s what I did as Maryland’s governor, and it’s exactly how I’ll serve Maryland in the Senate. Let’s get back to work. pic.twitter.com/d0TuZchAtN
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) February 9, 2024