Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said he hasn’t ruled out running for president in 2024, noting that the vast majority of Americans want an alternative to President Joe Biden or GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
(Bloomberg) — Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said he hasn’t ruled out running for president in 2024, noting that the vast majority of Americans want an alternative to President Joe Biden or GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
“However I can serve, I’m still trying to figure that out, but I’m not walking away,” Hogan said at an event at Bloomberg’s office in Washington.
“I don’t want to run a race and nibble around the edges,” he added. “If I thought there was a path to success to win the race, then I just said I wouldn’t shut the door to that opportunity.”
Hogan is an honorary national co-chairman of No Labels, a centrist activist group that’s laying the groundwork for a third-party presidential bid in 2024. No Labels calls the plan an “insurance policy” in case the major parties nominate Biden and Trump for a 2020 rematch.
An April NBC News poll indicated that 60% of Americans don’t think Trump should run again, compared to 70% for Biden.
For now, however, Hogan said his primary focus is trying to get the Republican Party “back on track” amid discord in Washington that led to the ouster last week of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and lingering divisions over Trump.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is “on the ascent” and could still emerge as an alternative to Trump, Hogan said, adding that she was a stronger candidate than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
“DeSantis has continued to fail throughout the campaign. He started out with all the advantages,” he said.
Hogan said he was “disgusted” by the infighting among House Republicans that forced McCarthy to surrender the speaker’s gavel, calling Florida Representative Matt Gaetz — who engineered McCarthy’s ouster — “a cancer on the party and on the Congress.”
“It’s a train wreck. I mean, it’s embarrassing, and I think it’s terrible for the Republican Party. I think it’s terrible for Congress and for the country,” he said of the current dispute over the speakership.
Hogan, 67, was a two-term Republican governor in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, leaving office as one of the nation’s most popular chief executives in January because of term limits. He served as chairman of the National Governor’s Association in 2019 and 2020.
He’s so far declined to run for the Republican nomination, saying in March he had “no desire to put my family through another grueling campaign just for the experience.”
Hogan said it’s probably too late for another governor — like Virginia’s Glenn Youngkin or Georgia’s Brian Kemp — to get in the race. “That’s not going to happen,” he said. “I mean, they’ve missed the deadlines already.”
And Trump’s lead over the rest of the Republican field has almost tripled since Hogan decided not to run as a Republican, from 16 points in March to nearly 45 points today in national polls.
No Labels has been conducting polls and focus groups with independent voters to decide how best to mount a third-party challenge. The group will hold a national convention in Dallas next April, at which it will decide whose name — if anyone’s — will occupy the lines it plans to secure on state ballots.
Democratic-aligned groups have complained that a No Labels bid would only serve to peel off anti-Trump moderates from Biden, helping to ensure a Trump victory. Biden himself has said that No Labels has the democratic right to field a candidate but warned that it would be “a mistake.”
And the list of minor candidates is only growing. Progressive academic Cornel West and environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have both announced independent bids in the past week, complicating the path to victory in competitive battleground states.
Read more: Kennedy Leaves Democrats to Run Against Biden as Independent
Four states were decided by less than a percentage point in 2020: Michigan, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — and a Trump victory in those states would have changed the outcome.
–With assistance from Hadriana Lowenkron.
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