Maryland's Larry Hogan is at least the third Republican state leader to say he won't vote for the president

By Sean Neumann
October 16, 2020 10:36 AM
Advertisement
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (left) and President Donald Trump
Susan Walsh/AP/Shutterstock; Shutterstock

The Republican governor of Maryland recently received his presidential ballot and did not vote for his party's leader, Donald Trump.

Instead, Gov. Larry Hogan told The Washington Post that he cast a write-in vote last week for late President Ronald Reagan.

Hogan, 64, said that by throwing away his vote to make a statement, he thought he “could help a little bit and show Democrats the kind of Republican they can feel comfortable voting for.”

“I know it’s simply symbolic. It’s not going to change the outcome in my state,” Hogan told the Post, referring to Maryland's reliable history of voting Democratic. “But I thought it was important to just cast a vote that showed the kind of person I’d like to see in office.”

Hogan is not alone: A vocal minority of GOP state leaders have turned their back on Trump during his push for re-election.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told CNN earlier this month that he won’t vote for Trump, while their Republican colleague in Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott, has also said he won’t cast a vote for the president in the Nov. 3 election.

From left: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan in April 2019
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/Getty Images

Hogan pulled a similar move in 2016, when he wrote his late father’s name, former Rep. Larry Hogan Sr., on his presidential ballot instead of either Trump or Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.

Hogan has long been at odds with the president, especially amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The governor publicly questioned Trump’s leadership during the early months of the health crisis, which included public jabs sent back-and-forth between the two over the federal government’s ability to roll out coronavirus testing across the country.

President Donald Trump
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Trump, 74, assured the country repeatedly that the U.S. had premium testing capabilities — "the United States has the most robust, advanced, and accurate testing system anywhere in the world” — even as the federal government struggled to make testing widely available in the spring as the virus spread.

Eventually, Trump told states to handle testing on their own.

“We expected something more than constant heckling from the man who was supposed to be our leader,” Hogan wrote in an op-ed for the Post this summer, explaining how he turned to make a deal with South Korea instead of the U.S. government in order to procure testing kits for his state.

From left: Gov. Larry Hogan and Ivanka Trump
JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (left) and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan
Courtesy Tim Larsen

Hogan is seen by some as likely to mount a run at national politics and was urged to run against Trump in the 2020 Republican primary, according to the Post.

But he reportedly decided against the long-shot bid against the incumbent president and has instead honed in as one of Trump's most prominent critics in the Republican Party.