Trump critic and former Maryland governor Larry Hogan won’t run for GOP seat in 2024 presidential race

Larry Hogan, the former governor of Maryland who has been considered a potential moderate Republican challenger to Donald Trump, announced on Sunday that he will not run for president in 2024.

“To once again be a successful governing party, we must move on from Mr Trump,” Mr Hogan wrote in The New York Times. “There are several competent Republican leaders who have the potential to step up and lead. But the stakes are too high for me to risk being part of another multicar pileup that could potentially help Mr. Trump recapture the nomination.”

The Maryland official argued that to be successful, the Republican party needs to cease being a “cult of personality” around Donald Trump. He also claimed that many in the GOP share his opinion “behind closed doors.”

Mr Hogan was a very different kind of Republican than Donald Trump, serving eight years over multiple terms as governor of Maryland, even though the state went two-thirds for Joe Biden in 2020.

In his time as governor, Mr Hogan was one of the few high-profile Republicans willing to outwardly criticise Mr Trump, on issues like racism, the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, and the president’s woeful handling of the Covid pandemic.

“I’d watched as the president downplayed the outbreak’s severity and as the White House failed to issue public warnings, draw up a 50-state strategy, or dispatch medical gear or lifesaving ventilators from the national stockpile to American hospitals,” Mr Hogan wrote in the Washington Post in 2020, detailing how he had to personally source Covid tests from South Korea in the absence of support from the White House. “Eventually, it was clear that waiting around for the president to run the nation’s response was hopeless; if we delayed any longer, we’d be condemning more of our citizens to suffering and death.”

Such stances may have won Mr Hogan support in a more liberal state like Maryland, but polls suggest firebrand Republicans are still in the leading position as potential candidates jockey for the 2024 GOP nomination.

Donald Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis, a former ally and protege of supports, have been trading top spots when it comes to support from the Republican base. Both men drive hard on far-right positions, with Mr Trump continuing to make false claims about the 2020 election and Mr DeSantis unleashing numerous bills and attacks along with his allies on LGTBQ+ youth in Florida.