Former Maryland Republican governor and Trump critic Larry Hogan is launching a Senate bid in what is expected to be a competitive race to fill outgoing Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin’s seat.
“My fellow Marylanders: you know me,” Hogan begins in a video released by his Senate campaign. “For eight years, we demonstrated that the toxic policies that divide our nation do not have to divide our state.”
The former governor added that he made the decision to run for the Senate “not to serve a party, but to try to be part of the solution: to fix our nation’s broken politics and fight for Maryland.”
“That’s what I did as your governor and that’s exactly how I will serve you in the United States Senate,” Hogan said.
His announcement comes after longtime Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin announced last May that he would retire at the end of his third term, triggering what will likely be a competitive race to replace him.
Former Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan launches Senate bid
Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin announced he would retire at the end of his term.
Hogan served as governor of Maryland from 2015 to January 2023, where he gained national attention for his leadership of the state during the coronavirus pandemic and as a fierce Republican critic of former President Trump.
For months, there was speculation that Hogan would challenge Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, but Hogan ended the speculation last March when he said he would not enter the 2024 presidential race.
In an op-ed in the New York Times, Hogan wrote that he was optimistic about the future of the Republican Party but was “deeply concerned” about the upcoming election.
“We cannot afford to have Mr. Trump as our candidate and suffer defeat for the fourth consecutive election cycle,” Hogan wrote. “To become a successful governing party again, we must leave Mr. Trump behind.”
At the time, Hogan wrote that he had no desire to subject his family to another “grueling campaign just for the experience” after eight years of serving the people of Maryland.
Hogan’s entry into the Maryland Senate race turns what was once considered a solid Democratic seat into a potential blowout that could help Republicans working to flip control of the Senate from blue to red.
Democrats currently hold a one-seat majority in the chamber, but the 2024 Senate map looks much friendlier to Republicans with the retirement of Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, while Democrats in states Trump won, such as Senators Jon Tester of Montana and Sherrod Brown of Ohio are seeking re-election.