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Larry Hogan wins Republican Senate primary in Maryland; GOP aims to flip Democratic-held seat

Annapolis, Maryland – Larry Hogan is heading into the general election after the two-term former Republican governor was quickly declared the winner of the Republican Senate primary in blue state Maryland.

The Associated Press predicted Hogan would win the nomination just over 30 minutes after voting closed in Maryland at 8 p.m. ET. He now advances to the general election runoff that could decide whether Republicans regain control of the Senate in November.

“They said the Hogan brand of politics was dead. Tonight, we’re proving they’re wrong,” the former governor told hundreds of supporters packed into a hotel ballroom in Maryland’s capital. We proved it again.” “Tonight, we begin our campaign for the future of Maryland and America.”

The winner of the general election will succeed longtime Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, who is retiring.

Democrats had hoped to protect their fragile Senate majority, but Hogan’s late entry into the race in February created an unexpected headache in a state that had previously been considered a safe haven. Hogan, who left office in early 2023 with positive support and favorable ratings, was seen as the overwhelming favorite for the Republican nomination in a field of about six candidates.

Three state primaries begin key general election showdowns

Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (two terms) celebrates his victory in the 2024 Maryland Republican Senate primary on May 14, 2024 in Annapolis, Maryland. (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

In November, Mr. Hogan announced that he would be chosen by either three-term U.S. Rep. David Trone, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, or Prince George’s County Executive, who is at the helm of Maryland’s second-most populous county. He will face either Angela Alsobrooks. Mr. Tron and Mr. Alsobrooks were the clear front-runners in a crowded Democratic primary race that was a bitter contest over whether diversity outweighed their chances of winning.

Why Senate Republicans are cautiously optimistic about regaining the majority

Trone, co-founder and co-owner of Total Wine and More, has invested more than $50 million of his own money into major campaigns.

“According to the polls, I’m the only candidate who can beat Larry Hogan, and I’m going to do everything in my power to do that. The stakes are too high,” he said in one of his final ads. .

Trone has significantly outspent Mr. Allsbrooks, but he also has support from many of the state’s Democratic establishment, including support from Gov. Wes Moore, Sen. Chris Van Hollen and five members of the House of Representatives. Obtained.

David Tron, Angela Alsobrooks

Rep. David Tron, D-Md., is the top candidate in the Maryland Democratic Senate primary for Prince George (left) and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. (Getty Images)

In a recent ad, Allbrooks disputed Tron’s insinuations that he didn’t have enough experience to run the Senate, saying, “I’m going to work for you while my opponent focuses on the fight.” “I’ll concentrate,” he said.

While Democrats control the Senate by a narrow 51-49 margin, Republicans are predicting an advantage in this year’s elections, with Democrats holding 23 of the 34 seats at stake.

Three of the seats are in red states Ohio, Montana and West Virginia that were won by former President Trump in 2020, and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is not running for re-election. Five additional states are in key battleground states for the general election.

Democrats will now spend time and resources defending Maryland’s open Senate seat.

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Hogan, a successful businessman before entering politics, was elected governor in 2014 and re-elected to a second term in 2018. But he faces an uphill climb as he runs for the Senate in a presidential election year in an overwhelmingly blue state. .

Although Republicans have had success in gubernatorial elections, a Republican has not won a Senate race in Maryland in nearly 40 years.

Hogan, 67, admitted in an interview with Fox News’ Mark Meredith, “It’s a much harder effort than anything I’ve ever done. That’s hardly ever happened.” “I’m an underdog, there’s no question about that. That’s why we work so hard.”

larry hogan and supporters

Maryland’s leading 2024 Republican Senate candidate, former Republican governor (two terms) Larry Hogan, is surrounded by supporters in Cockeysville, Maryland, on May 13, 2024. (Fox News/Matthew Reddy)

The Senate Democratic Campaign Committee has noted that if Mr. Hogan is elected, he will caucus with the Republicans, and his victory could give the Republicans a majority in the chamber.

“Marylanders know that a vote for Republican Larry Hogan is a vote to pass a national abortion ban and hand over the Senate to Republicans to advance their extreme agenda. It’s a disqualifying issue for Maryland voters. Democrats have won every statewide election in Maryland for the past 40 years, and 2024 will be no different.” Amanda Sherman Beatty, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, told Fox News in a statement.

And minutes after Hogan’s victory, DSCC ran a video ad highlighting Hogan as a “lifelong Republican.”

Hogan, a vocal critic of former President Trump, is considering running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 and has visited New Hampshire multiple times in 2022, where the first primary on the Republican nominating calendar will be held. Ta. But Hogan announced last March that he would not seek the party’s nomination.

The general election begins for former Republican Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, who won the Republican Senate primary. Mr. Hogan celebrates with his supporters during the opening night rally in Annapolis, Maryland, May 14, 2024.

In his final year as governor, Republican leaders in the nation’s capital and Maryland pushed Hogan to run for the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections.

However, Hogan refused at a press conference in February of the same year, saying, “As I have said many times, I have no desire to serve in the United States Senate.”

Two years later, and after another full-court press by national Republican leaders, Hogan changed his mind.

Get the latest on the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more with Fox News Digital’s Election Hub..

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