Ho­gan wins re-elec­tion to gover­nor’s seat

The Star Democrat - - FRONT PAGE - By BRIAN WITTE

AN­NAPO­LIS (AP) — Larry Ho­gan be­came the first Repub­li­can gover­nor to win re­elec­tion in Mary­land since 1954 by beat­ing Demo­crat Ben Jeal­ous on Tues­day.

Ho­gan, who is only the se­cond Repub­li­can gover­nor to win two terms in Mary­land’s his­tory, won in a state where Democrats out­num­ber Repub­li­cans 2-1.

Ho­gan has main­tained a mod­er­ate po­lit­i­cal course, ad­vo­cat­ing lower taxes and fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity. He has em­pha­sized bi­par­ti­san­ship at a time of deep par­ti­san di­vi­sion in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal nearby. He also kept his dis­tance from Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who is un­pop­u­lar in Mary­land. Sup­port­ers cheered elec­tion re­sults shown on large tele­vi­sion screens in a crowded con­fer­ence room at a ho­tel in An­napo­lis, Mar yland, where Ho­gan was set to speak later in the evening.

A num­ber of vot­ers in Bal­ti­more, his­tor­i­cally a Demo­cratic strong­hold, said they sup­ported the can­di­dates who prac­ticed prag­ma­tism and were will­ing to lis­ten to dif­fer­ing views and then im­ple­ment changes. Many were en­thu­si­as­ti­cally sup­port­ing Ho­gan.

“The U.S. right now is in a lot of tur­moil and we need politi­cians who are se­ri­ous about their jobs,” said Venus Jack­son, a 25-year-old

em­ployee of a down­town Bal­ti­more park­ing garage. “If you are a rea­son­able Repub­li­can like Ho­gan and you have a good track record, then I’ll sup­port you no prob­lem. But those Repub­li­cans are pretty rare these days.”

Other Mary­land vot­ers also cited dis­plea­sure with pol­i­tics in nearby Wash­ing­ton.

Peter Stone, an in­de­pen­dent voter, said he voted for all Democrats, though he made an ex­cep­tion for Ho­gan and voted for him.

“I’m protest-vot­ing right now in terms of: I’m not vot­ing for any Repub­li­can who has any­thing nice to say about the pres­i­dent,” Stone said after vot­ing in An­napo­lis, Mary­land, not­ing that Ho­gan has taken stands against the pres­i­dent.

Ho­gan won an up­set vic­tory four years ago us­ing pub­lic cam­paign fi­nance funds. This time, he held a large fundrais­ing edge over Jeal­ous that en­abled him to out-ad­ver­tise his op­po­nent.

Mean­while, the pop­u­lar and well-funded Ben Cardin cruised to a third term rep­re­sent­ing Mary­land in the U.S. Se­nate, eas­ily de­feat­ing a GOP chal­lenger and an un­af­fil­i­ated can­di­date in Tues­day’s midterm elec­tions.

Reached min­utes after polls closed and The Associated Press called the race, Cardin said he was “very grat­i­fied and flat­tered” to again earn the con­fi­dence of Mary­land’s vot­ers. He said he planned to fo­cus on “ad­vanc­ing the val­ues of the coun­try” while boost­ing ed­u­ca­tion and pro­tect­ing health care, among other goals.

Ho­gan has shown a will­ing­ness to join Democrats, such as when he em­braced leg­is­la­tion to ban hy­draulic frac­tur­ing for nat­u­ral gas in the state last year.

He also has taken ac­tions on his own that have been pop­u­lar with vot­ers. A low­er­ing of road and bridge tolls in his first year is one of the best ex­am­ples.

Ho­gan also won over vot­ers in ru­ral parts of the state who had come to feel aban­doned for the more pop­u­lated parts of the state in the sub­urbs of the na­tion’s cap­i­tal and Bal­ti­more, the state’s largest city. And he won plau­dits for ef­forts to re­store state trans­porta­tion aid to lo­cal gov­ern­ments that had been tapped dur­ing the re­ces­sion years to help plug bud­get holes.

This year, Ho­gan was able to highlight a bi­par­ti­san agree­ment with Democrats to res­cue the state’s fi­nan­cially strug­gling health care ex­change and pre­vent steep rate hikes.

At the statehouse, the fo­cus is on whether Repub­li­cans can win five seats to break a su­per­ma­jor­ity held by Democrats. That would have a con­sid­er­able im­pact on state govern­ment in Mary­land, after Ho­gan’s vic­tory, be­cause Democrats would not be able to over­ride his ve­toes. Democrats now hold a 33-14 ad­van­tage in the Se­nate, and they need 29, or a three-fifths vote, to over­ride a veto. The Mary­land House of Del­e­gates has 91 Democrats and 50 Repub­li­cans. They need 85 votes for a su­per­ma­jor­ity in that cham­ber.

Mary­land’s 6th Con­gres­sional District race is for the only open seat in Mary­land’s eight-mem­ber U.S. House del­e­ga­tion. David Trone, a Demo­crat and co-owner of a na­tional wine store chain, is run­ning against Amie Hoe­ber, a Repub­li­can and na­tional se­cu­rity con­sul­tant. The district stretches from the sub­urbs of the na­tion’s cap­i­tal to the bor­ders of West Vir­ginia, Vir­ginia and Penn­syl­va­nia.

Mary­land Rep. Andy Har­ris, the state’s lone Repub­li­can con­gress­man, is be­ing chal­lenged by Demo­crat Jesse Colvin in the district that in­cludes Mary­land’s Eastern Shore.

PHOTOS BY AP/CE­CIL WHIG

Demo­cratic gu­ber­na­to­rial nom­i­nee Ben Jeal­ous, left, and in­cum­bent Repub­li­can Gov. Larry Ho­gan

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