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Trump says he hopes Larry Hogan, a longtime political adversary, wins his US Senate race

Jeff Barker, Baltimore Sun on

Published in Political News

Former President Donald Trump all but endorsed the U.S. Senate campaign of Maryland Republican Larry Hogan on Thursday, but it’s unclear if his statements will help or hurt Hogan, who has long been a political adversary.

“I think he has a good chance to win,” the Republican Trump told Fox News in an interview posted on the network’s website. “I would like to see him win.”

The statements by Trump, the presumed Republican presidential nominee at the party’s July convention, were a surprise. Hogan, who is running for the Senate against Democratic Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, has been a persistent Trump critic.

Trump was on Capitol Hill on Thursday seeking to solidify his party’s backing.

The Maryland Democratic Party quickly released a statement saying “Donald Trump endorsed Larry Hogan because he wants a Senate majority that’s beholden to Trump. Maryland voters know what is at stake in this election and will vote to stop a Republican takeover of Washington.”

Since Democrats enjoy a more than 2-1 voter registration advantage in the state, Hogan, a former two-term governor, must capture a significant number of Democrats and unaffiliated voters to win. Trump is hugely unpopular among Maryland Democrats, and Hogan has not only steered clear of Trump but has presented himself as being largely independent of the GOP.

But a Trump endorsement could help Hogan with Trump backers in regions like the Eastern Shore, Western Maryland and pockets of Baltimore County where the GOP holds sway.

Hogan’s brand has long been distinct from the Republican Party. He actively opposes Trump and portrays himself as a solutions-oriented anti-politician. He was co-chair until December of the third-party No Labels movement, which tried unsuccessfully to recruit a 2024 presidential candidate.

 

Hogan refused to back Trump during the Republican primaries when the former president was being challenged by former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and others.

Then, Hogan released a statement last month as the jury was about to return a verdict making Trump the first former president to be convicted of felony crimes.

“Regardless of the result, I urge all Americans to respect the verdict and the legal process,” the statement, posted on social media, read.

Trump’s co-campaign manager Chris LaCivita responded on X, telling Hogan: “You just ended your campaign.” Michael Caputo, a former Trump administration official, answered Hogan by telling Trump’s followers: “End his campaign, MAGA.”

Hogan has sometimes contrasted Trump’s style with that of former Republican President Ronald Reagan, suggesting Reagan’s more tempered approach was preferable for the nation because he wasn’t focused on scoring partisan points. In the 2020 presidential election, Hogan said he cast a symbolic write-in vote for Reagan, who died in 2004.

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©2024 Baltimore Sun. Visit baltimoresun.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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