There have been efforts by some Senate Republicans to recruit term-limited Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), a politically moderate and outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump, to challenge incumbent Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) in the upcoming midterm elections.
Those recruitments efforts failed, however, as Hogan made clear in an announcement Tuesday that he had no intention to run for the Senate, according to the Washington Examiner.
Instead, the anti-Trump Republican governor stated that he planned to serve out the remainder of his term that ends in January 2023 and left the door wide open for a potential 2024 presidential run, in which it is quite possible that Hogan would face off against Trump in the GOP primary contest.
Hogan says “I will not be a candidate” for Senate in 2022
The announcement from Gov. Hogan came at the end of a normal news conference on Tuesday when he said, “Lastly today, I want to put to rest a question that some of you have been asking me. I want to let you know that I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate.”
“A number of people said they thought I could make a difference in the Senate as a voice for common sense and moderation. I was humbled by that, and it certainly gave me and my family reason to consider it,” he continued. “But as I have repeatedly said, I don’t aspire to be a senator, and that fact has not changed.”
Hogan referenced his vow to Marylanders to do the job as governor to the fullest, and said, “that commitment is far more important to me than any political campaign.” He won’t, however, simply “sit on the sidelines” and would continue to speak out against the “divisiveness and dysfunction in Washington.”
“My current job as governor runs until January 2023, and then we’ll take a look and see what the future holds after that,” the governor added. “But for now, I’m going to keep working hard over this next year, and I plan to run through the tape at the finish — next January.”
Potential 2024 run in the works?
Politico reported that the announcement from Gov. Hogan was likely taken as good news by Sen. Van Hollen, and the governor even joked during his remarks that the Democratic senator “can rest easy and get a good night’s sleep tonight.”
As for the possibility that Hogan will make a presidential bid in 2024, which he certainly didn’t rule out, the anti-Trump governor also made it clear that the actions and decisions of the former president had no bearing on his own potential plans. “It would be based on whether I think I could make a difference,” Hogan said, and added, “I wouldn’t care whether the former president runs or not.”
Senate Republican recruitment effort fails
According to Yahoo News, this announcement from Gov. Hogan constitutes a wrench in the plans of Senate Republicans to take back the majority in that chamber through a recruitment effort focused on Republican governors in predominately Democratic or mixed states, as he is the third such governor to reject the recruitment overtures.
In addition to recruiting Hogan to take on Van Hollen in Maryland, Senate Republicans had also been rejected by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R), who they wanted to challenge Sen. Mark Kelly (D), and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), who they wanted to take on Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH).