February 12 – Maryland’s former governor Larry Hogan announced on Friday his bid to run as a Republican in the US Senate.
Maryland hasn’t had a Republican Senator in 37 years.
The seat up for grabs is currently held by Ben Cardin, who is retiring.
Interestingly, Democrat Representative David Trone, also from Maryland, has thrown his hat into the ring for Cardin’s seat.
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “These are open seats. These are not candidates running against an incumbent and that is a key factor in both of these races. After Hogan made his announcement, Cook Political Report changed the Maryland Senate seat from likely Democratic to lean Democrat, a little bit less likely. Hogan was a very popular governor. I mean, he was a Republican in a blue state. He had to govern from the middle, but was very popular. He’s going to be competitive there. It’s still likely it stays the Democratic seat, but Hogan is going to have a lot of resources. You couldn’t find a statewide candidate with better name recognition than Hogan.”
Republicans are quite tickled about this announcement.
Barkdoll said, “If they could flip that seat, that would be a net gain and of course that would help Republicans in the Senate overall try to regain control. So that is going to be, suddenly, a really good competitive race and I think on the Congressional side as well.”
Neil Parrott has announced his run for Trone’s Congressional seat.
Barkdoll said, “Both of Neil Parrott’s prior campaigns he has done better than the one he ran before and the last campaign against Tone, Neil ran a very high level active campaign, came up short, but again it’s an open seat this year, so he’s not running against that incumbency advantage that Trone would have had. The district still has a Democrat voter registration edge, but as we know, in Maryland, just like talking about Hogan, we have a lot of voters that are willing to cross the ticket and if they’re a Democrat vote for a Republican, there’s a lot of Independents, third party registered voters in that district. So I think Neil is going to be very competitive and he has a decent shot at winning the seat.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “Hogan, he ran as a centrist but he really was getting almost woke there at the end. So I have a feeling he really is just a Democrat at this point. At least that’s the way he governed towards the end of his governance. It does make him popular though, and maybe a chance for people from all sides of the aisle to vote for somebody this time.”
Barkdoll noted, “His name was floated as one of these possible, No Labels presidential candidates, and I don’t think anyone saw this coming, that he would be running for US Senate. So it’s going to be a good race. From a primary standpoint, he gets through the primary and goes right on to the general election, it could very well be Hogan versus Trone in the fall.”
Paul Frey, president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce said, “I know he’s got a more moderate approach, some people say, is he Republican, is he not? But he’s a little bit more well-spoken, he is not confrontational. He did a lot of good for Maryland when he was in Governor, some things that maybe we didn’t agree with on policy, but overall, the state did very well from a business perspective and certainly, Washington County benefited from having Governor Hogan in our corner and doing a number of things including, this big push when we got the stadium money. I know the General Assembly approved it, but he was a good friend of our community. So I think a little bit more well-spoken, a little bit more moderate than some of the folks running for office.”
Jim Kercheval, executive director of the Greater Hagerstown Committee, said, “Having two people that know the area is always helpful. We have a couple of different people that are running in that one that know our area. One way we will lose, though, is the seniority of Senator Cardin puts him in certain leadership positions, and it’ll take a little while for anybody new to come in and work up to that. So you’ll lose a little bit of the seniority, but hopefully we’ll get somebody that knows the community real well.”