Donald Trump Endorses Maryland Republican Larry Hogan for Blue State Senate Seat

AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.

In a mildly surprising move, given recent communications between the campaigns, former President Donald Trump has endorsed Maryland's Republican (former) Governor Larry Hogan in the bid for a Senate seat in that deep-blue state. Hogan was Governor of Maryland from 2015 to 2023.

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Republican former Gov. Larry Hogan, who has been one of former President Donald Trump’s fiercest critics in the GOP, received Trump’s endorsement in his Maryland Senate bid on Thursday in an interview on Fox News.

“I’d like to see him win,” Trump told the network during a trip to Washington, D.C. “I think he has a good chance to win.”

The Maryland race could determine control of the Senate, a point Trump noted in the interview. 

“I would like to see him win, and we got to take the majority. We have to straighten out our country, so I’d like to see him win,” Trump said.

There is evidently some strategic thinking going on here. While the endorsement makes sense in the long run, it comes after the Trump campaign clearly considered a lack of support from the former Maryland governor where Donald Trump's legal issues were concerned.

Late last month, Hogan angered Trump’s campaign when he said that the public should “respect the verdict and the legal process” prior to Trump’s conviction by a Manhattan jury on 34 felony counts related to hush money payments.

Donald Trump himself seems to have gotten over that.

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See Related: Trump Campaign Tells Larry Hogan His Lack of Support for Trump After His Conviction 'Ended Your Campaign' 

Senate Campaign for Former Maryland Gov Larry Hogan Says He Plans to Skip Republican National Convention


As noted, Larry Hogan has said he will not attend the Republican National Convention. He likewise did not attend the 2016 and 2020 conventions. For his part, he is running as a Republican in one of the country's most heavily Democrat states. Portraying himself as a moderate who is willing to buck the Republican establishment won him two terms as governor in Maryland, and if he is serious about winning a Senate seat, also a state-wide election, then it makes sense for him to follow the same path.

As for former President Trump, it's in his best interest to use whatever influence he has to ensure the House and Senate are under GOP control when and if he resumes office in January — and now, it sure looks like that's going to be the case. This is not just a matter of floor votes but also assigning committee chairs and deciding what legislation will come forward and which will be round-filed; in general, the majority party controls the agenda, and for much of what Trump says he intends to do, he'll need a friendly Congress.

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Given this, endorsing Larry Hogan, despite any bad blood that has passed between the candidates up to this point, makes good sense both politically and strategically. It's a seat that will if Hogan wins, help clinch a majority. The agenda can come later, but as the saying goes, first, you have to win, and that means fighting for every seat.

If this Maryland Senate seat can be won for Republicans, and if Larry Hogan is the man who can do that, then Trump is right to endorse him and should do what he can to put Maryland in the Republican Senate "win" column.

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