Today, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) put to rest chatter that he was considering challenging President Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. Hogan announced his decision in an interview with the Washington Post‘s Robert Costa.
“I’m not going to be a candidate for president in 2020,” said Hogan.
Hogan had refused to vote for Trump in 2016, instead casting a write-in vote for his father, a former congressman. Hogan had continued to be an outspoken critic of the President, one of the few current Republican office holders to continue to do so after Trump was sworn into office.
Hogan has enjoyed high favorability ratings as governor, and received a lot of personal support from his constituents when he was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2015. Hogan reported that the cancer was in remission late that year, and finished his final chemotherapy treatments in 2016.
Still, popularity in Maryland is not necessarily the same kind of popularity that can take on an incumbent president. A Baltimore Sun poll conducted April 29-May 4 showed that while Hogan had a sky-high approval rating of 76%, among Maryland Republican primary voters, he would capture only 24% of the vote to Trump’s 68%, with 8% undecided.
In the interview with Costa, Hogan acknowledged the uphill path his potential presidential challenge would have, but that the more important issue in his mind was the commitment he had made to the people of Maryland who just re-elected him as their governor in 2018.
“I have a commitment to the 6 million people of Maryland and a lot of work to do, things we haven’t completed,” said Hogan.
Hogan added that he had discussed the possibility of a presidential campaign with his family, and his wife had encouraged him to stay focused on Maryland.
“Her big push was, ‘You just got reelected to a second term as governor. You made a commitment to the people of Maryland and that’s where your focus should be,'” said Hogan. “She said there is plenty of time to think about the future but right now my attention should be on my day job.”
In addition to his gubernatorial duties, Hogan will launch an advocacy organization called “An America United” this week, which he described as attempting to “transcend partisanship” and find issues both political parties could support, like infrastructure improvements. He dismissed suggestions this group was laying the groundwork for an independent presidential run.
He confirmed he is still considering running for President in 2024, saying “I believe there’s going to be a future in the Republican Party beyond President Trump. It’s either going to be next year or four years later. But at some point we’re going to be looking for what the future is going to be like.”
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