Former Maryland governor and prominent anti-Trump Republican Larry Hogan announced he’s entered the Maryland Senate race on Friday, shaking up the contest in a surprise move that could help Republicans gain a foothold in the state.
“I am running for the United States Senate—not to serve one party—but to stand up to both parties, fight for Maryland, and fix our nation’s broken politics,” Hogan wrote on X. He is expected to file for candidacy on Friday, the last day to do so.
I am running for the United States Senate – not to serve one party – but to stand up to both parties, fight for Maryland, and fix our nation's broken politics. It’s what I did as Maryland’s governor, and it’s exactly how I'll serve Maryland in the Senate. Let’s get back to work. pic.twitter.com/d0TuZchAtN
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) February 9, 2024
He is running to replace Democrat Ben Cardin, who announced his decision to retire after three terms in the chamber in May.
Hogan was a wildly popular Republican governor during his two terms from 2015 to 2023. He dispelled notions that he would run against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in early 2023, saying he didn’t want to be part of the “multicar pileup” of candidates facing him. Hogan is a staunch critic of the former president who has also slammed GOP loyalists for swearing fealty to him and repeating Jan. 6 election lies.
His surprise bid could help Republicans regain a majority in the Senate if he flips the exiting Cardin’s seat red. But Maryland remains a deeply blue state, even if Hogan’s moderate policies on hot-button issues like abortion and gun control won over voters in prior gubernatorial races.
Hogan, with his sky-high 77 percent approval rating upon exit from the governor’s chair, is favored to secure the Republican Senate nomination. Democrats have not yet selected a champion of the six candidates who have filed in the primary so far. The field is led by Angela Alsobrooks, the Prince George’s county executive, and an equally promising U.S. Rep. David Trone.
Maryland’s Senate primaries will be held on May 14. Champions will face off in the general election on Nov. 5.