While the news will surprise no one, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan (R) formally announced his intention to run for reelection on Thursday.
In a Facebook video shot Thursday morning, Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford (R) are shown walking into the Maryland State Board of Elections in Annapolis and then filing their candidacy papers.
“We’re happy that people seem to be happy with the job we’re doing,” Hogan says in the video. “And the job’s not finished. We’re going to continue working to change Maryland for the better.”
Since his upset victory in 2014, Hogan has been an enduringly popular figure in a state that has been dominated by Democrats for decades – succeeding by largely steering clear of national GOP orthodoxy. He has been raising money aggressively, banking more than $9 million in his campaign account as of mid-January – more than all the Democratic candidates for governor combined.
But the governor’s reelection is by no means a sure thing – particularly if the national political environment heads south for Republicans and Democrats are motivated to vote.
Democratic leaders and operatives have repeatedly tried to tie Hogan to President Trump, accusing him of not standing up to Republican policies emanating from Washington, D.C.
“Hogan will soon repeat history as a one-term governor because no amount of money can fool voters who know that their governor failed to stand with them against an unpopular president,” Maryland Democratic Chairwoman Kathleen Matthews said in a statement Wednesday.
But Hogan did not vote for Trump in the 2016 White House election and has occasionally criticized his policies and the harsh partisan level of political discourse in the nation’s capital.
Since taking office, Hogan has made a point of emphasizing his commitment to bipartisanship, but that hasn’t stopped him from picking fights with entrenched legislative leaders when it suits him politically.
In the campaign video, Hogan suggested that he hopes to steer clear of raw politics for a little bit longer. The state primaries are on June 26.
“We’ve got four months before we know who we’re running against, and we’ve got plenty of time for campaigning,” he said. “We’re going to focus on doing the job for the people of Maryland.”