Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s campaign rolled out a group of Democratic endorsements on Thursday, calling them “proof of the governor’s track record of working with Maryland Democratic leaders to implement the solutions to the problems Marylanders care about the most.” Several of the endorsers are former party leaders, including a former lieutenant governor, a former House speaker, and a former top party official.
In a statement released by the campaign, former Senate president Melvin A. “Mickey” Steinberg, who served as lieutenant governor under the late Gov. William Donald Schaefer (D), credited Hogan with working “with the legislature to save our health care system, provided funding for our schools, and he has made Maryland an environmental leader including helping make the Chesapeake Bay the healthiest in a generation.” Steinberg accused Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Benjamin T. Jealous, of offering “radical and irresponsible proposals [that] would destroy our economy.”
Among the other Democrats crossing party lines to endorse Hogan over Jealous: Former House speaker Clayton Mitchell Jr.; former Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee and Officer of the Executive Committee Scott Pastrick; former House Commerce and Government Matters chairman John F. Wood Jr.; retired federal judge Alexander Williams; and Chairman of the Clean Chesapeake Coalition and Kent County Commissioner Ron Fithian.
Former House Deputy Majority Whip Bill Cox said: “Larry Hogan has provided the type of commonsense, bipartisan leadership that makes Marylanders of all political stripes proud. He puts people over party and always does what he thinks is right regardless of politics. Ben Jealous is too divisive and his policies are too extreme for Maryland. We should stick with what has worked and reelect Gov. Hogan.”
Few of the endorsers are household names and many served a very long time ago. Several have endorsed Republicans in the past and at least one is a Hogan appointee.
Nevertheless, the endorsements underscore a key Hogan theme, that his centrist governing style has attracted support from across the political spectrum. The Jealous campaign dismissed the endorsements as a stunt. “
Another day and another gimmick from the gimmick governor,” said campaign spokesman Kevin Harris in a statement. “When healthcare premiums are rising and our schools rankings are falling, I guess things like former elected officials and puppies are the only things Larry Hogan can talk about.”