Former Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who has positioned himself as one of the fiercest critics of Donald Trump in his party, said Sunday he will not challenge the former president. by the Republican nomination for the White House in 2024.
“I would never run for president to sell books or position myself for a cabinet position,” Hogan, 66, wrote in The New York Times. “I have said for a long time that securing a future for the Republican Party matters more to me than securing my own future in the Republican Party. And that is why I will not seek the Republican nomination for president."
The move is an acknowledgment that while many in the Republican Party are considering ways to move on from the Trump era, there is little appetite among primary voters for such outspoken criticism of the former president.
For now, that leaves Trump as the leading figure in the initial field of Republican candidates.
So far, he faces only three formal rivals: his former ambassador to the UN nikki haley businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and Michigan businessman Perry Johnson .
Others, including the former vice president Mike Pence former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the senator from South Carolina Tim Scott , may join in the coming months. A possible candidate Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson , said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that "March is a month of messages" and that Republicans "need to have all the alternatives" to Trump. "We don't need to be guided by arrogance and revenge in the future."
Some Trump rivals, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, may wait until late summer to officially announce their campaigns.
Hogan concluded his second term as governor in January, serving eight years in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-to-1 margin. He was the second Republican governor of Maryland to be re-elected.
Some Republicans expected Hogan, who was emerging as the best new hope of a small group of "Republicans who never win," to challenge Trump in 2020. But a year after Hogan's 2018 re-election, he said that while he appreciated "everything the encouragement” he had received to run for president, he would not. Hogan told The Associated Press that he had no interest in a "kamikaze mission."
In the last two presidential elections, Hogan said he did not vote for Trump, the party's nominee.
Hogan won his first term as governor in 2014 in surprising fashion, using public campaign finance against a better-funded candidate. Fleeing from tax concerns as a moderate Republican businessman, Hogan took advantage of the frustration of a variety of tax and fee increases over the previous eight years to take down the then-lieutenant. Governor Anthony Brown.
Hogan had never held elected office before and in his first year as governor, he focused on pocket issues. He lowered the tolls, a move he could take without the approval of the long-Democratic-controlled General Assembly. But he too was faced with challenges, including the riots in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody in 2015. Hogan sent in the National Guard to prevent further riots.
In June of that year, he was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but continued to work while receiving treatment. She has been in remission since November 2015.
In 2018, he became the second Republican governor in state history to win re-election, defeating former NAACP president Ben Jealous.
Hogan has long been candid about his dislike for Trump as president.
In 2020, as chairman of the National Governors Association, Hogan criticized Trump for delaying a national coronavirus testing strategy, saying the president was downplaying the threat of the virus despite dire warnings from leading national experts.
"I didn't go out of my way to criticize the president," Hogan said. "But unlike a lot of Republicans, I'm not the type to sit and shut up and not get up and say something if I think something is wrong."
Trump and Hogan engaged in something of a proxy battle in the 2022 election. Hogan's choice to succeed him as governor was Kelly Schulz, who was Secretary of Labor and Commerce in his administration. She lost in the Republican primary to Dan Cox, a Trump-backed state lawmaker who said President Joe Biden's 2020 victory should not have been certified and that he tried to impeach Hogan over his pandemic policies.
Cox lost the November general election by a wide margin to Democrat Wes Moore.