Hogan Lends Star Power to Hoeber’s Congressional Bid

Maryland Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) lent some star power to a Potomac fundraiser for congressional hopeful Amie Hoeber on Tuesday. His presence as featured speaker at the event, at the estate of supporters Michael and Diane Epstein, swelled the guest list from the original 35 to 100, sources said. Hoeber won the four-person GOP primary in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District last month by a wide margin. The 2016 nominee now faces off against  businessman David J. Trone, winner of the Democratic primary, and four others in the general election. The event in Potomac, like most fundraisers, was closed to reporters, but one insider said the governor likened Hoeber’s race, against the deep-pocketed Trone, to his contest against then-Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) four years ago. “He said that everybody was [telling] him in 2014, ‘Hey, I like you, you’re a good guy. I like what you have to say, but you don’t stand a chance.’  And he said a lot of people are saying the same thing about Amie. ‘Amie, I like you, you’re very smart, but you don’t stand a chance.’” Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s SUV pulls up in front of a Potomac home where he headlined a fundraiser for Republican congressional hopeful Amie Hoeber on Tuesday. Photo by Bruce DePuyt  “He said, ‘I’m here to tell you that Amie stands a much better chance of being elected than I stood in 2014.'” In an interview, Hogan called Hoeber, a national security consultant and former official in the Reagan administration “very capable and experienced,” and “somebody that we can work with in Congress.” The governor expressed confidence in Hoeber’s ability to run a strong campaign, despite a recent gaffe. Last month, in an interview with WAMU-FM talk show host Kojo Nnamdi, Hoeber was asked about the importance of funding Chesapeake Bay clean-up efforts.  “The Chesapeake Bay is not in my district,” she said, a position that runs counter to the one held by generations of Maryland politicians of all stripes. “That’s not a great answer,” Hogan conceded. “The bay is the cleanest it’s been in 33 years and we want to continue making progress.” In the race to replace U.S. Rep. John K. Delaney (D), who is giving up his seat to run for president in 2020, Trone has been relatively quiet since the Democratic primary. On Tuesday, his campaign announced that he had been endorsed by the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “I’m proud to have the endorsement of a truly outstanding organization that works to protect animals and support humane legislation,” Trone said in a statement. “Growing up on a farm with five dogs, animals have always been an important part of my life. In Congress, I will be a strong advocate for animal protection laws,” said Trone. The 6th District, which takes in part of Montgomery County and runs all the way to Garrett County, is likely to be the most competitive in the state this year. Delaney traditionally ran strong in Montgomery County but his showing in Western Maryland was less consistent. Hogan is expected to romp in Western Maryland, and his coattails could prove helpful to Hoeber. But Trone did well there during the Democratic primary. A Day-Long Swing Hogan‘s appearance at Hoeber’s fundraiser was part of a day-long swing through Maryland’s largest political subdivision, which, Hogan noted, is home to more Republicans than any other. Also on his schedule: a birthday party at Asbury Methodist Village for a 105-year-old resident, Grace Ward; a visit to a technology firm in Derwood, where he was critical of President Trump’s trade policies; and a fundraiser for his own reelection bid at an Italian restaurant in Bethesda.  As Hogan traveled across the county, Trump took to Twitter to declare: “A Government Shutdown is a very small price to pay for a safe and Prosperous America!” The president added: “I don’t care what the political ramifications are, our immigration laws and border security have been a complete and total disaster for decades, and there is no way that the Democrats will allow it to be fixed without a Government Shutdown.” As he has before, Hogan rejected Trump’s apparent willingness to shut the federal government to force Democrats to fund a wall on the southern border. “I don’t think it is acceptable and I would be strongly opposed to this action. That’s probably the only thing that my opponent and I have in common and that is that neither one of us endorsed, supported or voted for President Trump. I’ve stood up against him every single time I’ve disagreed and this is one of those times I disagree.” The Hoeber camp said it was too soon to know the exact haul from the luncheon fundraiser. Among the attendees: attorney William F. Askinazi and his wife; former GOP gubernatorial nominee Ellen R. Sauerbrey; and, former congresswoman and ambassador Constance A. Morella. Morella, who endorsed Hillary Clinton for president over Trump in 2016, was the headliner at Hogan’s fundraiser in Bethesda Tuesday evening. [email protected]

Bruce DePuyt
Bruce DePuyt spent more than two decades on local television, including 14 years as host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the D.C. metro region. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County, as well as a reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. Bruce also is the host of the weekly The Bruce DePuyt Podcast.

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