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Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has announced he’s running for Senate in the Old Line State.
In a video posted Friday on Twitter declaring his intent to fill the seat opening due to Senator Ben Cardin’s retirement, Hogan said he’s running because he’s “completely fed up with politics as usual,” and believes the nation “can do so much better.” He wants to go to Washington “not to serve one party, but to try to be part of the solution to fix our nation’s broken politics” by “finding common ground for the common good.”
It’s a nice sentiment from the man who briefly mulled a bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. But if Hogan sees a seat in the Senate as the next step towards the presidency, he still has much to learn.
Hogan started the video reflecting on his father, Larry Hogan Sr., being the first Republican congressman to come out in support of President Richard Nixon’s impeachment. “He put aside party politics and his own personal considerations. He stepped up to do the right thing for Maryland and the nation,” Hogan claimed. “Today. Washington is completely broken. Because that kind of leadership, that kind of willingness to put country over party has become far too rare.”
Larry Hogan Sr. didn’t know what time it was then. He failed to understand the malevolent forces at work against President Nixon’s effort to bring the deep state to heel. Larry Hogan Jr. doesn’t know what time it is now. He fails to grasp the fact those forces are still at work seeking to destroy the Republic.
While Hogan Jr.’s naivety shouldn’t be ignored, he doesn’t want to destroy the Republic. If he wins the primary, his Democratic opponent, likely either Rep. David Trone or Angela Alsobrooks, probably will. And Hogan might just be the GOP’s best shot at winning in Maryland.
When Hogan was reelected in 2018, Hogan managed to win by nearly a dozen points. When he left office in 2023, he was one of the most popular governors in the country. “Larry Hogan is more popular than Old Bay in Maryland, across every single demographic,” Spectator reporter Matthew Foldi, a native Marylander, told The American Conservative. “His Democratic opponent will be either David Trone, who is rich but incredibly lazy or Angela Alsobrooks, who no one can pick out of a phone book. Hogan, by contrast, has universal name ID in every part of the state.”
Hogan’s successful governorship and name ID, Foldi believes, will contribute to Hogan’s ability to build a campaign that stands a chance. “Hogan has a sprawling network of support across the state and nationally,” Foldi said. “No human being in the state of Maryland has anything on this level.”
“In Maryland, Republicans are tired of losing,” Foldi told TAC. “Hogan absolutely annihilated his Democratic opponent in 2018, where Republicans lost everywhere.”
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Nevertheless, Hogan faces a steep up-hill climb if he wants to be Maryland’s next senator. Democrats far outnumber Republicans, almost by a two to one margin. Last time Cardin was on the ballot, in 2018, he defeated his Republican challenger by almost 35 points.
Yet, with just a one-seat majority in the Senate, Democrats face a tough Senate map in 2024. West Virginia, Ohio, Arizona, and Montana, just to name a few, will be hyper-competitive races that could flip blue seats red. But if any party can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, it’s the GOP. The 2022 election cycle, when Republicans had another favorable Senate map, proved that much.
Both parties will have to be careful about how they spend their resources. Hogan will likely receive strong backing from McConnell-world. But the Senate Minority Leader is weaker than ever, and the party is increasingly falling back in line behind Trump. With a lot of mouths to feed in competitive senate races, Hogan will likely have to pursue detente with Trump to get his slice of the pie. How big that slice will be remains to be seen. The worst case scenario: The GOP blows millions on a double-digit loss à la Democrats blowing over $100 million on Jaime Harrison’s effort to unseat Lindsey Graham in 2020.
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5-star basketball recruit Derik Queen, a Baltimore native, commits to Maryland
Derik Queen, a Baltimore native and one of the nationâs top basketball prospects in the Class of 2024, committed to Maryland on Wednesday, giving Terps coach Kevin Willard a potential cornerstone big man after a winding pursuit.
Queen, a consensus five-star recruit, chose the Terps over Indiana, Kansas and Houston. Maryland was long considered the favorite for the 6-foot-10 McDonaldâs All American, but Queenâs decision to not sign his letter of intent during the NCAAâs early signing period in November drew out his recruitment. Only two other top-50 prospects in 247Sportsâs composite rankings for the Class of 2024 entered the week uncommitted.
Maryland was among the first schools to seriously recruit Queen, offering him a scholarship the summer before his freshman year of high school. Their relationship endured despite significant shakeups. In July 2021, Queen announced that he was leaving St. Frances Academy, where heâd earned MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year honors and played alongside future Maryland guard Jahnathan Lamothe, and transferring to Floridaâs Montverde Academy, a perennial national power.
In March 2022, Seton Hallâs Kevin Willard was hired as the Terpsâ head coach, replacing Mark Turgeon, whoâd stepped down four months earlier. Willard landed three top-150 prospects in his first recruiting class, all from the Baltimore-Washington area, but he lost assistant coach Tony Skinn, Queenâs primary recruiter, after he was named George Masonâs head coach in March.
âOur first couple recruits, we really tried to get local kids, just to kind of let the fanbase know that this area is huge to us,â Willard told reporters during his first season. âWeâre going to recruit it, weâre going to bring kids in, weâre going to make sure that theyâre the stars, kind of what â¦ I did at Seton Hall.â
In 28 games this season for Montverde, which features three other five-star recruits, including Cooper Flagg, a potential top pick in the 2025 NBA draft, Queen is averaging 16.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, both team highs, while shooting a team-high 69% from the field, according to MaxPreps. While Queen is not considered exceptionally athletic or a reliable outside shooter, heâs a gifted rebounder and finisher with a well-rounded skill set.
âOverall, he projects as a skilled facilitating big who can handle, pass, rebound, and create all kinds of mismatch problems because of the rare overlap of those tools. If his shooting, conditioning, and athleticism evolve, it will unlock new levels to his game altogether,â 247Sports director of scouting Adam Finkelstein wrote last year.
Queen, the No. 15 overall player in 247Sportsâ composite rankings, is Marylandâs highest-ranked pledge since fellow Baltimore native Jalen Smith signed in 2017. Queen joins guard Malachi Palmer, a three-star guard and top-150 recruit, in the Terpsâ class, though he canât officially sign until mid-April.
Still, Willard will need to add more than just Queen over the next offseason to help restore the program to prominence. Maryland, which was picked to finish third in the Big Ten Conference this season, fell to 14-13 overall and 12th in the league after a 74-70 loss Tuesday at Wisconsin. Barring a run in the Big Ten tournament, the team is expected to miss the NCAA tournament for the third time in the past five years.
Even if forward Julian Reese (13.8 points per game) returns for his senior season in College Park, pairing with Queen down low, the Terpsâ offense could again struggle. Maryland ranks No. 338 out of 351 Division I teams in 3-point shooting (28.8%) and is set to lose its two most prolific outside shooters, star guard Jahmir Young (21.1 points per game) and starting forward Donta Scott (11.6 points per game)
Maryland District Attorney’s Office appoints Simpson Thacher partner as special counsel
The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland has hired Simpson Thacher & Bartlett litigation partner Alicia Washington as a special counsel.
Washington returns to the public sector after almost two and a half years at Simpson Thacher having previously served as an assistant US Attorney in the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. In her role as special counsel in Maryland, she will advise US Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek Barron on a wide variety of legal matters impacting the office, with a particular focus on the Criminal Division and other complex cases.
During her time in the Eastern District of New York, Washington was involved in investigating and prosecuting public corruption, white collar crime, narcotics, money laundering, civil rights, firearms cases and child exploitation.
Her arrival in Maryland coincides with the promotion of assistant US Attorney John Sippel to a role coordinating the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force’s Mid-Atlantic region. Sippel has been an assistant US Attorney in Maryland since 2003 when he joined from legacy Baltimore firm Ober Kaler.
Barron said: “The hiring of Alicia Washington and promotion of John Sippel adds greater depth of experience and perspective to our decision-making to better serve Marylanders and the mission of the Department of Justice.”
Before her previous spell in the Eastern District of New York, Washington was an associate at Davis & Gilbert and also had two earlier stints as an associate at Simpson Thacher either side of a year spent clerking to Barbara Lynn in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Prior to starting law school she also spent a year as a paralegal in the DOJ’s Antitrust Division and before that spent three months in London interning for MP and now Liberal Democrats leader Ed Davey.
Washington and Sippel join a management team that also includes first assistant US Attorney Phil Selden, executive assistant US Attorney Lillian Stewart and counsel to the US Attorney, David Salem.
Baltimore, Maryland’s biggest city, is frequently ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the US based on crime rates and homicide rates.
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