Hogan won’t say if he will file to run for Senate by Feb. 22 deadline
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Sunday would not say if he plans to file to run for U.S. Senate by next month’s deadline, days after reports surfaced that GOP heavyweights are urging him to mount a bid.
Asked by moderator Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” if he is going to run for U.S. Senate, Hogan refused to answer directly, instead asserting that he is focused on combating COVID-19 and the current omicron wave in the Old Line State.
“Feb. 22 is like a month away and right now we’re just focused on the day job as governor and focused on this omicron crisis and our legislative session,” Hogan said, noting the filing deadline. “That’s where my focus is gonna to stay.”
Earlier in the interview, the governor reiterated that serving in the Senate is “not something I aspire to.”
“But I also have said that I care very much about the country and where we are and the divisive rhetoric, then the divisiveness and dysfunction in Washington. And so, you know, people are calling on my, kind of more patriotic duty, to say even if it’s not the job that you want, maybe we need you to run anyway,” Hogan said.
“And so that’s where we are. I’ve never expressed an interest in it and still haven’t taken any steps in that direction,” he added.
Asked if he believes a Republican can win a U.S. Senate seat in Maryland, Hogan cited two polls that had him defeating Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) by 12 points, noting that it is the same margin he was reelected by in 2018.
“So I think it is possible,” he said.
The conversation regarding a potential Senate bid by Hogan comes after The Associated Press first reported last week that top Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), are privately lobbying the Maryland governor to mount a challenge against Van Hollen.
McConnell’s wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, have also reportedly been pressing Hogan to run for Senate.
Hogan is barred from running for governor again because of term limits. He has been in office since 2015.
Sources said Hogan has entertained the conversations, but remains dedicated to finishing his term as Maryland governor, which ends in January 2023. One source said “he’s not interested in running.”
The lobbying comes as Republicans are looking to tip the Senate’s 50-50 split to the right and give the GOP a majority in the upper chamber for the second half of President Biden’s term.
Hogan’s name has also been floated as a candidate for the 2024 presidential election.
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