Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. ended speculation on Saturday that he would run for president in 2020, announcing instead that he will launch a national political advocacy group that will focus on “bipartisan, common-sense solutions.”
“I truly appreciate all of the encouragement I received from people around the nation urging me to consider making a run for President in 2020. However, I will not be a candidate. Instead, I am dedicated to serving my second-term as Maryland Governor and in my new role leading the America’s governors as the incoming Chairman of the National Governors Association,” Hogan said in a statement. “That work is important, and I believe both of those roles will give me the opportunity to make an impact on the direction of my party and our nation.”
Hogan’s new advocacy group, a 501(c)4, will be called An America United; the group launched a website this week.
Such nonprofit social welfare groups are able to donate an unlimited amount to political campaigns without disclosing donors.
Hogan said he launched An America United because he is fed up with broke and divisive “politics as usual.”
“We can reject the extremes of both political parties, work to break partisan gridlock, and bring people together to advance bold solutions for all Americans,” Hogan said in the statement.
The organization “supports bipartisan, common-sense solutions to create more and better jobs, promotes fiscal responsibility, environmental protection, improving education, and rebuilding America’s decaying and neglected infrastructure.”
Hogan had made several notable moves indicating serious consideration of a presidential run, including trips to battleground states.
But even in a Maryland poll, Republicans were more likely to back President Donald Trump in the party’s primary. A section on the new website, “Larry Hogan’s story,” notes his enduring high approval ratings as governor and his historic reelection as just the second two-term Republican governor in state history.
Hogan announced the shift in 2020 focus first to The Washington Post.
He told the paper he made the decision over the past week while vacationing with his family in Ocean City.
“We got up every morning, walked on the beach and saw the sunrise, watched some sunsets. We were really just thinking. I would say there were mixed reviews” about the possibility, Hogan told The Post. “The kids were pretty excited about it. My wife thinks it was the right decision not to.”
The governor said he doesn’t intend to shy away from politics and will remain engaged in the debate over the future of the Republican party.
He plans to visit the E2 Summit next weekend in Utah, which is hosted by Sen. Mitt Romney (R).