Larry Hogan will run for Senate in Maryland

Larry Hogan, the popular Republican former governor of Maryland, announced Friday that he will run for the open Senate seat, a surprise move that immediately made the state a prime battleground for control of the chamber.

“I’m running for the United States Senate — not to serve one party — but to stand up to both parties, fight for Maryland, and fix our nation’s broken politics,” Mr. Hogan wrote on X. “That’s what I did as governor of Maryland, and that’s exactly how I’ll serve Maryland in the Senate. Let’s get back to work.”

Mr. Hogan has been one of his party’s most vocal critics of former President Donald J. Trump and endorsed former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for the Republican nomination. He was also seen as a possible presidential candidate for No Labels, a group for which he played a leading role as it explored a third-party bid in 2024.

Senator Steve Daines, Republican of Montana and chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, welcomed Mr. Hogan to the race, saying he was “a great leader for Maryland, and that’s why he remains extremely popular in the state.”

Mr. Hogan previously said he would not run for the seat currently held by Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, a Democrat who declined to seek re-election.

Democrats in the race include Rep. David Trone — founder of Total Wine & More, the nation’s largest independent wine retailer — who has the support of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the House Minority Leader. Angela Alsobrooks, the elected executive of Prince George’s County, Md., is also seeking the Democratic nomination and has been endorsed by Gov. Wes Moore.

While Mr. Hogan has moderate results, Democrats are painting the race as a battle for the Senate.

“A vote for Republican Larry Hogan is a vote to install Mitch McConnell as majority leader and turn the Senate over to Republicans so they can pass a national abortion ban,” said Maeve Coyle, spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Democrats have won every federal election in Maryland for 44 years and 2024 will be no different.”

Mr. Hogan, a former real estate executive, won the governorship in a landslide in 2014 and served for eight years, during which he also had advanced lymph cancer.

His campaign for the Senate is expected to strengthen the Republican bid for the majority. The party is expected to pick up the seat in West Virginia after Sen. Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, announced he would not seek re-election, and is also raising competing campaigns in Montana, Ohio and Arizona – all of which would be Republicans.

Republicans need to flip two seats to regain power if President Biden is re-elected, but only one if Mr. Trump or another Republican takes the White House.

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