Hogan Skipping Md. GOP Dinner With Pence

    The Maryland Municipal League to the rescue.

    One of the side dramas of Vice President Mike Pence’s looming visit to Maryland, where he’ll be headlining the Maryland Republican Party’s annual “Red, White and Blue” dinner on Monday, was whether Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) would attend.

    Hogan has been highly critical of President Trump and isn’t likely to support his reelection. But early on in the Trump administration, Hogan did mention that he had a decent relationship with Pence, dating back to Pence’s time as governor of Indiana. And according to a story told by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), Pence blessed Christie’s plan to funnel resources from the Republican Governors Association to Hogan’s underdog campaign in 2014.

    Still, a Hogan appearance at the Pence event could be awkward – given that Hogan openly flirted with the idea of challenging Trump in next year’s presidential primaries. Not only that, a recent public poll of Maryland Republicans showed an overwhelmingly number preferred Trump to Hogan as their 2020 presidential nominee.

    Whether Hogan was agonizing over whether to attend the Republican dinner is unknown, but if he was, he now has an out: He’s planning to be at the MML conference in Ocean City Monday.

    Hogan routinely addresses municipal officials at their annual summer confab – though according to the MML schedule, his official speech won’t be taking place until a Tuesday night dinner.

    But Hogan has a full schedule throughout the conference, according to spokesman Michael Ricci. On Monday afternoon, on the way down to MML, he’ll have lunch at Snapper’s, the popular waterfront eatery in Cambridge, to present a 25th anniversary citation. That evening, he’ll participate in an annual dinner with sponsors of the convention.

    On Tuesday morning, the governor plans to visit the exhibit hall at the convention center, and in the afternoon, he’ll be at a ribbon cutting at Bad Monkey, followed by a walk along the boardwalk.

    So the GOP show will go on without the governor. Regrettably, the fundraiser is closed to the press, so we won’t be able to bring you an eyewitness account.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.