Term-Limited, But Standing Pat, Hogan Nixed Senate Bid
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — After months of wooing by senior Republican party officials, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that he’s decided not to run for the U.S. Senate this year.
“I sincerely appreciate all the people who have been encouraging me to consider it,” Hogan said during an afternoon press conference in the governor’s mansion.
But in the end, he explained, he simply didn’t “aspire to be a United States senator.”
“That fact has not changed,” he continued, adding, “when I pledged to the people of Maryland that I was going to give this job as governor everything I’ve got, every single day that I’m given, I meant it.”
“I plan to run through the tape and finish next January,” said Hogan, who is term-limited and cannot run for reelection.
“That commitment is far more important to me than any political campaign,” he said.
Hogan’s announcement wasn’t completely unexpected, but it came as a blow to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, all of whom had made overtures to the popular former chair of the National Governors Association.
The recruitment effort reportedly even included McConnell’s wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who had a private lunch with Hogan’s wife, Yumi Hogan, to encourage her to support a race.
Part of Hogan’s appeal was that he has long been an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump and a moderate voice in an era of political extremes.
His decision not to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen leaves the party with no clear choice for a candidate — no small problem considering the filing date for entering the race is Feb. 22.
Hogan said he informed McConnell and other Republican leaders of his decision before announcing it, and even called Van Hollen, jokingly telling him he could “rest easy and get a good night’s sleep.”
Turning more serious, Hogan did allow that he thought seriously about the race.
“A number of people said they thought I could make a difference in the Senate as a voice for common sense and moderation. I was humbled by that, and it certainly gave me and my family reason to consider it,” he said.
Though Hogan’s announcement about his future immediately became the statehouse story on Tuesday, his press conference was actually called to announce the launch of a $2 million lottery to encourage Marylanders to get COVID-19 booster shots.
The Maryland Lottery will hold one drawing a week over 12 weeks, using a random number generator to pick a winner.
The first drawing is scheduled for Feb. 15 and will be for a $500,000 prize.
Between weeks two and 11, $50,000 prizes will be given out. The lottery will end with a $1 million drawing on the 12th and final week.
Everyone aged 18 and older who has received all their vaccine doses and a booster shot in Maryland is eligible for the drawing, Hogan said.
Dan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue
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