Hogan To Test Waters For Md. Governor
Larry Hogan, a Cabinet secretary under former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), on Tuesday plans to launch an exploratory bid for next year's Republican gubernatorial nomination.
Hogan, 53, a real-estate broker who ran a competitive but unsuccessful race for Congress in 1992, said he will set up a campaign account with the Board of Elections, signaling the start of a "testing the waters" phase for governor.
Hogan, who served as appointments secretary under Ehrlich, said he will back out of the race if his former boss seeks a rematch with Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). Ehrlich has indicated he might wait until the end of the year before making a decision about 2010.
"Should my friend Bob Ehrlich decide he wants to run for governor, he will have my enthusiastic support, and no one will work harder for him," Hogan, an Edgewater resident, said in an interview. "But he hasn't decided, and I don't have the luxury of time."
Hogan's decision is timed to be exactly one year in advance of the Republican primary. By his own admission, Hogan would be "a huge underdog" against O'Malley in a heavily Democratic state. But he is regarded by many Republicans as the most credible alternative to Ehrlich at this point.
Other Republicans looking at the race include Del. Patrick L. McDonough (R-Baltimore County), who has been most visible on immigration and electricity issues, and Mike Pappas, a Towson lawyer and former parliamentarian of the state Republican party.
Hogan said he plans to highlight economic issues, including taxes, spending and jobs. He will portray himself as as someone rooted in the private sector who has also had a long history in politics. Hogan's father, Lawrence J. Hogan Sr., was a congressman from Maryland who later served as Prince George's County executive.
"Somebody needs to stand up for the millions of Marylanders suffering under the largest tax increase in history pushed by O'Malley," Hogan said, referring to a nearly $1.4 billion tax increase approved by the legislature during a special session in 2007.
In a letter to potential supporters, Hogan says financial contributions will "give us some critical early money necessary to study the viability of the race, and will allow me to travel across the state, take the pulse of the electorate, and talk with Marylanders about the future of our State."
September 14, 2009; 1:56 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , Governor , John Wagner
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