Larry Hogan, the popular Republican former governor of Maryland, announced on Friday that he would run for the state's open Senate seat, a surprise move that immediately turned the state into a potential battleground for control of the chamber.
“I'm running for the United States Senate — not to serve one party — but to stand up to both parties, fight for Maryland, and fix our country's broken politics,” Mr. Hogan Wrote in X. “This is what I did as governor of Maryland and how I will serve Maryland in the Senate. Let's get back to work.
Former President Donald J. As one of Trump's fiercest critics in his party, Mr. Hogan has been and has endorsed former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as the Republican nominee. He was also seen as a potential presidential candidate for No Labels, a group he played a leadership role in when it explored a third-party effort in 2024.
Senator Steve Daines, Republican of Montana and Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Caucus, Mr. Hogan was welcomed into the race, saying he was “a great leader for Maryland, and that's why he's so popular in the state.”
Mr. Hogan previously said he would not run, and current Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, a Democrat, has declined to seek re-election.
Democrats in the race include Rep. David Drone — founder of Total Wine & More, the nation's largest independent wine retailer — who has the backing of House Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. Angela Alsobrooks, Md., county executive-elect in Prince George's County, is seeking the Democratic nomination and has been endorsed by Gov. Wes Moore.
Mr. Although Hogan has a moderate record, Democrats are portraying the race as a battle for the Senate.
“A vote for Republican Larry Hogan is about making Mitch McConnell majority leader and turning the Senate over to Republicans so they can pass a national abortion ban,” said Maeve Coyle, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Democrats have won every statewide federal election in Maryland for 44 years, and 2024 will be no different.”
Former real estate executive Mr. Hogan made a surprise run for governor in 2014, serving eight years.
His campaign for the Senate is expected to bolster the Republican Party's bid to win a majority. The party is expected to pick up a seat in West Virginia after Democratic Sen. Joe Mnuchin III announced he will not seek re-election, and rival campaigns are ramping up in Montana, Ohio and Arizona — all likely Republican pickups. .
If President Biden is re-elected, Republicans need to flip two seats.