ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan surprised many when he announced a last-minute bid for an open U.S. Senate seat in Maryland just hours before the filing deadline.
Having previously ruled out a Senate run to chase a potential presidential bid, Hogan shifted gears by announcing his 2024 Senate bid to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin. In his announcement, Hogan emphasized the need for a change in Washington, criticizing the toxic politics that divide the nation and portraying himself as a representative of the exhausted majority of Marylanders.
As the only well-known and high-profile Republican in the race, Hogan’s entry into the Senate race added a new dynamic, especially in a state where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans 2 to 1. His decision to run will test the endurance of his popularity and the willingness of Maryland’s Democratic voters to send a pragmatic Republican to the U.S. Senate, potentially influencing the balance of power nationally.
Following Hogan’s announcement, Democratic candidates Rep. David Trone and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks quickly responded, criticizing Hogan’s candidacy as an opportunity for Republicans to seize more power in Washington and attacking his record as governor.
Hogan’s decision to enter the race comes after being courted by national Republicans two years ago to challenge Sen. Chris Van Hollen, only to decline after months of speculation. His ability to sidestep divisive social issues and focus on pocketbook matters during his tenure as governor led to his electoral success in a deeply Democratic state, but the composition of the state’s Republican Party has shifted in the wake of his departure from office.
Overall, Hogan’s entry into the Senate race injects new energy and competition into an already intense political landscape, presenting a different choice for Maryland voters as the election season approaches.