After months of rumors and one postponed announcement, Change Maryland founder and Annapolis real estate executive Larry Hogan formally declared his gubernatorial candidacy last week at an Annapolis crab shack.
“I didn’t make this decision to run for governor out of a desire to be something. I decided to run because I feel an obligation to do something,” said Hogan, a Republican who served as secretary of appointments in former Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s administration, at his Jan. 29 campaign kickoff. “We simply cannot just sit back and accept status quo, politics as usual in Annapolis, knowing that — together — we can make a difference.”
Emphasizing his background in business rather than politics, Hogan said he has spent the past three years traveling the state and speaking with residents. The common theme he ran into again and again, he said, is frustration with the current government.
“We’re hostile to the job creators,” he said at a Baltimore Jewish Council meeting the following day, pointing to the so-called “millionaire’s tax” and “rain tax.”
If he is elected, Hogan said he would require independent audits of every state agency in an effort to cut back on government spending.
Although Hogan’s announcement came months after other Republican opponents formally announced their candidacy, he made up for lost time by announcing his running mate, Boyd Rutherford, former secretary of the Department of General Services under the Ehrlich administration and former assistant secretary for administration for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Jan. 2014 Red Maryland Poll, which was released before Hogan announced his candidacy, showed him leading the field of Republican primary candidates with 31 percent of the vote. He will face a field that includes David Craig, Charles Lollar, Ron George and Brian Vaeth in a June Republican primary.