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Change Maryland’s Hogan seeks GOP gubernatorial nod

- The Washington Times - Monday, January 20, 2014

A Cabinet official under Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, will announce his run for Maryland governor Tuesday at an Anne Arundel County crab house.

Larry Hogan, who heads the conservative watchdog website Change Maryland, will join three others vying for the GOP nomination for governor in a state that has elected only one Republican to the office in the past 45 years.

Hinting at his intentions to run for governor this term since the 2011 founding of Change Maryland, Mr. Hogan will make it official at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mike's Crab House in Riva.

Mr. Hogan said Monday that his campaign would focus on fiscal responsibility. "Maryland is way off track, headed in the wrong direction," he said.

Through Change Maryland, Mr. Hogan has taken Gov. Martin O'Malley to task over tax increases and has written opinion columns on state politics for The Washington Times.

A campaign statement about Mr. Hogan's planned kickoff touted Change Maryland's work, saying it is the "state's largest non-partisan grassroots organization focused on bringing fiscal responsibility and common sense to Annapolis."

Under Mr. Ehrlich, Mr. Hogan served as appointment secretary from 2003 to 2007. According to his biography, he was involved in the appointments of more than 7,000 people to all three branches of state government.

He currently works as president of Hogan Cos., an Annapolis-based real estate firm he founded in 1985.

Also seeking the Republican nomination in Maryland's June 24 primary are Harford County Executive David R. Craig, Delegate Ronald A. George of Anne Arundel County, and Charles County business executive Charles Lollar.

It's unclear whether Mr. Hogan's late entry to the race will affect his fundraising ability. Republican candidates' war chests are significantly smaller than that of Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown — both of whom are seeking the Democratic nomination.

According to campaign finance disclosures submitted last week, Mr. Craig reported the most cash on hand, with $154,577. Mr. Craig reported raised nearly $250,000 during the year but spent about $296,000. He had a prior balance of about $200,700.

Mr. George reported having $15,500 on hand. He previously raised $130,160 and spent $147,450.

Mr. Lollar reported having $5,730 in his campaign and previously reported raising $65,300 and spending $59,600.

Meanwhile, the Democratic contenders have raked in far more cash. Both candidates reported more than $6 million in cash on hand.

"We are really focused on the race in November and we feel we have plenty of time to raise the money we need in the race," Mr. Hogan said.

Though he has spent most of his life working in the private sector, Mr. Hogan has run for election before.

In 1992, he unsuccessfully tried out oust Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, a Democrat representing Maryland's 5th District. It was a seat held by Mr. Hogan's father, Lawrence J. Hogan Sr., from 1969 to 1975. The elder Mr. Hogan, a Republican, served as Prince George's County executive from 1978 to 1982.

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