The Maryland Gubernatorial race next year is likely to come down to one thing; economic issues. After eight years of the profligate spending, and tax-hiking O'Malley Administration, many Marylanders have had enough and are looking for a change. The Democratic nominee, whether it be Anthony Brown, Doug Gansler, Heather Mizeur, or Dutch Ruppersburger are unlikely to stop that trend.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum; Doug Gansler, in his comments while seeking the Democratic nomination, peeled back the curtain to show an uncomfortable truth about the last eight years of Democratic governance. Even rank and file Democrats are tired of the taxing and the spending by their own party. Why else would Gansler attack the O'Malley-Brown Administration record on those very issues during a Democratic primary?
There is blood in the water. And we could very well elect a Republican Governor next year.
Our nominee for Governor needs to be able to adequately speak to the people of Maryland on those issues. They need to have the experience of government service, along with the experience in business to understand why it is so important that Maryland needs to be able to improve its economic climate in order to attract and retain businesses and create jobs. They need to be able to show a proven ability to attract top talent, assemble a good team, and achieve success, both in business and in politics.
For those reasons, we are endorsing Larry Hogan to be the next Governor of Maryland.
Larry's success in the world of business and public service speak for itself. His company, the Hogan Companies, is a regional leader in real estate providing service to the public, private, and non-profit sectors. He served four years as a Secretary of Appointments in the Ehrlich Administration, helping to assemble a team of public servants who were the most bipartisan, most inclusive, and most diverse administration in Maryland history. Larry and his family have long been a champions of conservative causes. Larry's father, Lawrence Hogan, Sr. is the only Republican to have served as Prince George's County Executive, and as a member of Congress became the first member to introduce the Human Life Amendment. Larry himself served, including serving as a Central Committee Member, Young Republicans Chairman, and part of the Youth for Reagan effort. In his 1990 run for Congress against Steny Hoyer, he gave Hoyer the closest Congressional race he has faced since his election to Congress over 30 years ago. His track record of success and conservatism speaks for itself.
However, it is Larry's work with Change Maryland that is of great importance when making this selection. Hogan founded Change Maryland with a straightforward mission: to organize, inform and energize average Marylanders to fight back and to bring some much needed fiscal restraint and common sense to Annapolis. And that he has done, putting together a group 67,000 strong made up of Democrats, Republicans, and independents who are fed up with the way our state is being run, and ready to work to change it. The Change Maryland Harvest Party, recently held at the Maryland Republican Party Convention, was a wildly successful outpouring of support for the Change Maryland mission and a real demonstration of the power and efficacy of a simple message of fiscal sanity and restraint in the state of Maryland.
In a time where we are trying to determine who best to take the message of fiscal restraint to the people of Maryland, how could we possibly turn away somebody who is already doing it successfully. Through Change Maryland, Larry Hogan is already taking this message to all Marylanders. It is a message that is tested, is proven, and we know can be successful in an electoral environment. Through Change Maryland, Hogan has proven that he has what it takes to mount an organized, disciplined campaign.
While Larry has not yet formally announced his decision to run for Governor in 2014, we are comfortable with our knowledge that he is the right candidate for the job and look forward to supporting his bid to seek a position that will allow us to have a responsible and competent steward of the public's money.
There are three other candidates currently running for Governor, including several people that we greatly respect and consider friends. Each candidate has his own strength and weaknesses, but we would be remiss if we didn't point out that we would be happy to support several of these candidates if they were our party's nominee. Harford County Executive David Craig has over thirty-years of public service both in elected office as well as in the Harford County Public Schools. He has been traveling the state for several years discussing his ideas and his plan for Maryland. Delegate Ron George has eight years of conservative legislative service and thirty years as a businessman in the shadow of our state capital. Either man would be a fine candidate for Governor.
Charles Lollar brings passionate energy to the stump. However, we are greatly concerned by the lack of particulars he commands on issues for somebody who has been contemplating a run for Governor for nearly five years, to say nothing of the seemingly ongoing series of mistakes, errors, and drama that have been well-documented here and elsewhere.
No doubt there will be, in some circles, the gnashing of teeth over our endorsement, much like there was for our 2010 endorsement of Bob Ehrlich. However, we will continue to ascribe to the Buckley Rule and support the most viable right candidate who can win. And that candidate is Larry Hogan.