Larry Hogan's Zeros
As the dust settled from Maryland's general election last Tuesday, something very concerning happened. Gov. Larry Hogan was re-elected, but Frederick's own Hogan Team and many other GOP candidates across the state were soundly defeated by Hogan supporting Democrats.
The culprit, if you listened to our illustrious Governor was President Donald J. Trump. Go figure.
The governor's laughable analysis came as he ran a victory lap around those down ballot candidates who were eventually grinded to dust while serving as his allies. In hotly contested races across Maryland, the governor showed up for fundraisers and photo ops that had signs that read "Democrats For Hogan.
The GOP candidates supporting the governor were good and talented individuals who embraced and supported him in his re-election bid while running their own races. Too bad that our own governor distanced himself from them in the end to claim his own self-righteous accolades having won re-election with Democrat votes.
Many down ballot candidates were heavily encouraged by the Maryland Republican Party to promote Hogan's "so called" bipartisan common sense platform. The Hogan Team talking points were tested on focus groups and polling approved. If the plan was relied upon, Hogan's popularity would surely pull the local and state GOP candidates to victory. Or so they thought.
The Washington Post covered a press conference last Wednesday. Hogan admitted that he was less Republican than his down ballot allies and championed himself as a centrist.
The Post reported: "Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) says he was able to withstand Democratic anger at President Trump and soundly defeat challenger Ben Jealous in a deep-blue state because he ‘didn’t govern as a Republican.’”
There you have it. Governor Hogan admits that he's a Republican in name only (RINO) to the press. How many good local and state GOP candidates would rethink their Faustian bargain with left leaning Larry if they could do it all over again? It's Trumps fault though. Remember?
Governor Hogan offered to explain in Wednesday's press conference why his coattails were shorter than promised. “It was just too much of an albatross around their neck from Washington to get them over the line."
Tell that to the local candidates who promoted the governor's style of leadership as the cornerstone of their own campaigns. Anyone who listened to the radio – or watched TV – knows for a fact that many great Republican candidates right here in Frederick County embraced and promoted the Hogan leadership agenda and not the Trump national policy.
The real folly is that the MDGOP snake-oil sales department sold local Republican candidates on the idea that Hogan's poll numbers would assure victory if they followed their simple plan. So the plan began. All Larry all the time
You could say that Frederick County's Republican struggle for local self-awareness started when the various Hogan slates were announced following the June primary. The excitement of which was akin to watching paint dry.
Sure there were Frederick County Republican volunteers who gave their all by door knocking for days, but in a results-driven contest the fruit of their labor resulted in a Democrat majority on the County Council and the re-election of Jan Gardner as county executive. The lead MDGOP strategists in Frederick County owe an apology to their loyal volunteers.
This electoral defeat for Republicans is reminiscent of the Frederick City municipal race where not one single Republican won. Don't be fooled into thinking that the Frederick County GOP was alone in its reach across the aisle disaster. Frederick's GOP defeat was just one note in prolonged funeral dirge that echoed across the state.
The governor endorsed County Executives Steve Schuh (R., Anne Arundel) and Allan H. Kittleman (R., Howard County), both were incumbents who were ousted by Democrat challengers.
Not to be outdone, look at what was, by all accounts; a fantastically run Republican campaign for Al Redmer for county executive in Baltimore County. Mr. Redmer did everything he needed to do in order to win under the Hogan strategy. What happened? The strategy was only to help Governor Hogan.
The MDGOP crisscrossed the state for their super Saturday door knocking events like a band of political gypsies all the way up to the end of the election. As they door knocked, they gathered data constantly. The data didn't look good for the down ballot candidates. It seems that the MDGOP kept that hush-hush because it was good for Governor Hogan's re-election prospects. You can't make a two-term omelet with Democrats unless you break a few Republican eggs.
The MDGOP's drive for five state Senate seats saw only two Republican victories in their focused races. The loss of six House of Delegates seats including Frederick County's own Bill Folden’s seat was particularly hard to take. I guess Republicans can find solace knowing that Larry Hogan picked up lots of Democrat votes by running away from his party.
One can't blame President Trump for Larry Hogan's zeros.