May 15, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Democrats' Hogan attack playbook

Larry Hogan, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland, greets supporters before casting his ballot in the state primary election at Davidsonville Elementary School on May 14, 2024 in Davidsonville, Maryland.

Larry Hogan campaigns yesterday in Davidsonville, Md. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democrats are planning a full assault on Maryland Republican Larry Hogan's moderate bonafides to defeat him and keep the state's Senate seat blue.

Why it matters: Hogan, a former governor, spent nearly a decade in the state honing his brand as a Republican figure who was independent of the national party, and he emerged as a top Trump critic.

Democrats wasted no time in executing that playbook after Democrat Angela Alsobrooks won a contentious primary to be the party's nominee on Tuesday.

  • "Larry Hogan, his BFF Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump's Republican party want to flip this seat," Alsobrooks said in her victory speech.

Other top Democrats in the state told Axios that the path to defeating Hogan will be simple if the party can show voters that the Republican's victory would be a win for conservative priorities in the Senate.

  • "This is a national election. Who do you want to control the Senate? Or women's reproductive rights?" Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who is retiring and leaving the seat open, told Axios on Wednesday.
  • "Marylanders understand that a vote for Larry Hogan is a vote to put MAGA Republicans in charge of the Senate," Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Wednesday.

Hogan has opened his Senate campaign boosting his standing as a politician who will buck both parties.

  • One of the first ads of his campaign is titled "Both to Blame," slamming "open border Democrats" and "status quo Republicans" for the crisis at the southern border.
  • "Typical D.C. politicians play politics instead of solving the problem," Hogan said in the ad.

Hogan was a frequent critic of former President Trump while he was governor, and declined appeals from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to run for Senate in 2022.

  • But many national Republicans are enthusiastic about Hogan's campaign, which has put the deep-blue state into play for the GOP.
Go deeper