Is Governor Larry Hogan a Real Trump Primary Contender?

With Republican President Donald Trump growing more divisive and volatile every day — and†facing an ever-tightening Russia investigation — it’s no wonder that a number of GOP voters†hope†they can be saved by a primary contender to replace him on the ballot for 2020.

So far, most hopes are pinned on Ohio Governor†John Kasich,†a self-proclaimed “moderate” who is teasing fans about a potential declaration — but he seems far more likely to hold out until 2024 instead.

Now there’s buzz of a new possibility: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. And unlike Kasich, rumor†has†it that his candidacy†is worrying the Trump team.

Politico†reports:

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is acting a lot like a guy who wants to run against Donald Trump in 2020 ó and the president’s reelection team is taking notice. The second-term Maryland governor has been implicitly going after Trump in speeches, meeting with Never Trump Republicans, and planning a March trip to Iowa as vice chair of the National Governors Association.

Of course, Iowa tours are typical of anyone thinking about a future presidential run — whether that’s an immediate plan or a decade down the road. Hogan, on the other hand, has some pretty prominent supporters already.

The†Baltimore Sun†reports:

Jerry Taylor, the founder of the Niskanen Center in Washington, said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun that heís been trying to persuade Hogan to run ó and the governor hasnít turned him down. “The increasing interest on Governor Hoganís part in whatís going on in Washington, D.C., is encouraging,”† said Taylor, a former senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute. “Itís clear to me heís been thinking about it more than in the past. But he hasnít made any decision yet.”

One of Hogan’s biggest challenges if he wants to mount a primary campaign is how relatively unknown he is outside of his own state. But that’s changing, as he gains support from longtime party icons like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who attended Hogan’s recent swearing in ceremony for his next term as Maryland’s governor.

And Hogan himself used his inauguration speech to aggressively oppose President Donald Trump’s political record of obstruction and division –†while blaming Democrats as well:

People on both sides of the aisle refuse to give up even a little to get a lot done. And neither side wants to make progress. They just want to make demands, and win arguments. That is not governing. †That is just political theater. And most of us are just sick and tired of all that drama.

Running in a primary is easy, though. Winning one against an incumbent? That’s a whole different story.

An incumbent already has the name recognition, party apparatus and other advantages behind them. Challenging a GOP incumbent from the left is nearly impossible, since primaries tend to bring out the more extreme members of the party to participate.

The†Carroll County Times†explains:

Say what you will about Trump as president, but he understands how to campaign and rally support. And heís been campaigning for re-election from the minute he was elected the first time. Heís also incredibly well-funded, with a war chest of $100 million or more, and Trump has the support of the Republican National Committee.

And while overall Trumpís popularity isnít great Ė his latest approval rating is about 39 percent ó he remains in good standing among conservative Republican voters. (Meanwhile, even with Hoganís strong popularity in Maryland, you donít have to look further than Carroll County political Facebook pages to know that among Trump fans, the right-of-center governor is regarded as a ‘lib’ or a ‘commie.’)

Then again, a primary may be less about replacing President Trump on the ballot and more about an easy way to raise Hogan’s profile to a national level –† putting him in that much better of a position come 2024, when he could have a legitimate chance at taking the nomination and winning the White House.

A primary challenge offers a test run for a future campaign, one that has almost no risk because no one expects him to win in the first place.

It would also serve to highlight just how very extreme the president — and the remaining GOP politicians as a whole — have really become. That’s something that can only benefit Democrats in the long run. So, on behalf of all who are horrified by the path our country has taken, I can’t help but hope that Hogan chooses to run.

Photo credit: Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office/Flickr

26 comments

Chad Anderson
Chad A3 months ago

Thank you.

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Sue H
Sue H3 months ago

I honestly don't care about an unknown.

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David C
David C3 months ago

I would like seeing this

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Shirley P
Shirley Plowman3 months ago

WE NEED THE STRONGEST CONTENDERS FOR 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RUN, IN BOTH PARTIES. CURRENTLY, WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO QUITE LIKELY IS A RUSSIAN ASSET, THAT TO BE PROVEN IN TIME AS INVESTIGATIONS CONTINUE. MEANWHILE, AMERICA SUFFERS THRU ITS LONGEST GOVT SHUTDOWN IN HISTORY! AMERICA IS IN DANGER AS NEVER BEFORE, FROM THE INSIDE OUT!!!!

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn3 months ago

Noted

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Peggy B
Peggy B3 months ago

TYFS

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JoAnn Paris
JoAnn Paris3 months ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

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Dot A
Dot A3 months ago

Mike's right! At this time and place in American history, we can't afford another Republican. Right now the Republicans have gained so much under Trump's regime that we are correct in our response to not support the Red party. As we've all witnessed, the Republicans are sticking together 'right or wrong' and from what many are experiencing - it is wrong. Oh, the advantaged are more advantaged, so their perspective will go the other way. But, for the majority of the population, we cannot go with the greed we've seen from the Republicans. {fully expecting the retaliation to say the Dems are the problem, but,... get real, - that's not the truth. All people have positive and negative aspects, however, the Reps have proven themselves as greedy as thieves and happy to be so.}

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Frances G
Carla G3 months ago

thank you

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Ciaron D
Ciaron Drain3 months ago

There quite a few people in the GOP who could easily fill Trump's shoes perferably with either vomit or animal feces. But then when the usual people say that there is a lack of leadership in the GOP is is a bit like a flock of owls saying an owl has a bit of a beak. If anything 2020 will bring out a badder and madder Trump and fur will be flying especially if that thing on his head gets free.

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