Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, viewed as a potential candidate for president in 2024, has decided not to seek the Republican nomination.
In a tweet, in an op-ed with The New York Times and in an interview with CBS News, Hogan, 66, said he cared more about “ensuring a future for the Republican Party than securing my own future in the Republican Party.”
“I would never run for president to sell books or position myself for a cabinet role,” Hogan wrote in the Times.
Hogan, who left office in January after serving two terms as Maryland’s governor, said he had given “serious consideration” to running for president, adding that staying on the sidelines for 2024 was the “toughest decision I ever made.”
“I care very deeply about the country and my party. I think I’ve been a voice of reason to try to get us back to a place where we have a more hopeful, positive vision for America,” Hogan told CBS News.”I think we’ve made a difference and I don’t plan on walking away. I’m going to continue to stay involved in that fight for the soul of the Republican Party, but I’m just not going to do it as a candidate for president.
Hogan said the idea of running against former President Donald Trump, who is the early frontrunner for the 2024 nomination did not factor in his decision not to run.
He said that stepping away would help to avoid the logjam of candidates that allowed Trump to win the 2016 Republican nomination.
“I didn’t want to have a pile-up of a bunch of people fighting,” Hogan told CBS News. “Right now, you have, you know, Trump and (Florida Gov. Ron) DeSantis at the top of the field, they’re soaking up all the oxygen, getting all the attention. And then a whole lot of the rest of us in single digits, and the more of them you have, the less chance you have for somebody rising up.”
A vocal critic of Trump, Hogan did not mince words in his op-ed about the former president.
“Since Donald Trump won the nomination in 2016, I have fought to make clear that our party cannot be successful if we put personality before principle, if our elected officials are afraid to say publicly what they freely admit behind closed doors, and if we can’t learn from our mistakes because of the political cost of admitting facts to be true,” Hogan wrote. “In 2020, the party didn’t even bother passing a campaign platform. For too long, Republican voters have been denied a real debate about what our party stands for beyond loyalty to Mr. Trump. A cult of personality is no substitute for a party of principle.”
Currently, only Trump and Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations, have formally announced their intentions to seek the Republican nomination. Other potential GOP candidates include DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, CNN reported.
“Our nation faces great challenges; we can’t afford to be consumed by the pettiest grievances,” Hogan said in a statement. “We can push back and defeat the excesses of elitist policies on the left without resorting to angry, divisive and performative politics.”
Despite Trump’s early lead, Hogan said a year “is an eternity in politics.”
“So I think what it looks like today could be completely different than what it looks like a year from now,” Hogan told CBS News. But if Trump wins the nomination, Hogan said the party will need to do some “soul-searching.”
“We’ve got to start getting back to a party that people will vote for, or we don’t get to govern,” Hogan told the news outlet.
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