Ho­gan: Losses ‘a re­pu­di­a­tion of the pres­i­dent’ at bal­lot box

The Star Democrat - - MARYLAND - By BRIAN WITTE

AN­NAPO­LIS (AP) — Fresh from a his­toric re-elec­tion vic­tory, Gov. Larry Ho­gan said Wed­nes­day the losses of other Mary­land Repub­li­cans on Elec­tion Day were “a re­pu­di­a­tion” of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

Ho­gan said his large win against Demo­crat Ben Jeal­ous in a state where Democrats out­num­ber Repub­li­cans 2-1 was the re­sult of his mod­er­ate po­lit­i­cal course and vot­ers’ de­sire for bi­par­ti­san­ship and ci­vil­ity. He won about 56 per­cent of the vote to be­come the first Repub­li­can gover­nor to be re­elected in Mary­land since 1954.

“We had Pres­i­dent Trump say the elec­tion should be about him, even though he’s not on the bal­lot and, in Mary­land, that’s ex­actly what hap­pened,” Ho­gan said. “It was a re­pu­di­a­tion of the pres­i­dent who lost this state by 30 points, and peo­ple came out and ex­pressed their frus­tra­tion against just about all Repub­li­cans in our state with the ex­cep­tion of us.”

Repub­li­cans were hop­ing the gover­nor would have coat­tails to en­able the GOP to win enough seats in the Mary­land Se­nate to end a su­per­ma­jor­ity held by Democrats that en­ables them to over­ride Ho­gan’s ve­toes. How­ever, for the most part, voter en­thu­si­asm for Repub­li­cans in Mary­land stopped with Ho­gan on Elec­tion Day.

In the Se­nate, Democrats blocked the GOP’s “Drive for Five,” which was an ef­fort to pick up five seats to bring Democrats un­der the 29 votes they need to over­ride a veto. In the House, Democrats padded their su­per­ma­jor­ity by about a half dozen seats.

Sen. J.B. Jen­nings, the Se­nate mi­nor­ity leader, said the “Drive for Five” was “al­ways a dream,” and Repub­li­cans still man­aged to gain some ground.

“In the Se­nate, we picked up a seat in not-a very-good cli­mate, and I think that does say a lot for our ef­forts and our can­di­dates,” Jen­nings said.

But in ad­di­tion to los­ing seats in the House, three Repub­li­cans also lost county ex­ec­u­tive races, in­clud­ing two in­cum­bents.

Mary­land vot­ers didn’t hold back in ex­press­ing their frus­tra­tion with Trump and how their anger in­flu­enced their votes. Peter Stone, an in­de­pen­dent who voted in An­napo­lis on Tues­day, said he voted for Democrats in protest of the pres­i­dent, though he made an ex­cep­tion for Ho­gan.

“All the way down — down to the reg­is­ter of wills,” Stone said, af­ter not­ing his ex­cep­tion for Ho­gan. “In my mind, the Repub­li­can Party should be ba­si­cally hung out to dry.”

A ma­jor­ity of vot­ers in Mary­land said the coun­try is headed in the wrong di­rec­tion, ac­cord­ing to a wide-rang­ing sur­vey of the Amer­i­can elec­torate. AP VoteCast found a ma­jor­ity of vot­ers in Mary­land had neg­a­tive views of Trump: 6 in 10 said they dis­ap­prove of how he is han­dling his job as pres­i­dent, while a third said they ap­prove of Trump.

House Speaker Michael Busch said Trump was clearly on vot­ers’ minds.

“I think that peo­ple came out to vote against Don­ald Trump and the type of char­ac­ter he has dis­played as pres­i­dent of the United States, so it’s no doubt that he had an ef­fect on the elec­tion, but you still have to have good can­di­dates,” Busch, a Demo­crat, said Wed­nes­day. “You have to have good or­ga­ni­za­tion. You have to have the re­sources to do it, and we raised quite a bit of money to make sure that we funded the races we needed to.”

Se­nate Pres­i­dent Thomas V. Mike Miller said while Mary­land vot­ers like Ho­gan, they un­der­stand that Democrats are the ones who are do­ing the work in An­napo­lis.

“They know who does what, and as a con­se­quence they re­warded the peo­ple that had been re­spon­sive to their prob­lems and needs, which was the leg­is­la­ture,” Miller, a Demo­crat, told re­porters.

AP PHOTO/PA­TRICK SEMANSKY

Gov. Larry Ho­gan, left, speaks at a news con­fer­ence along­side Lt. Gov. Boyd Ruther­ford, Wed­nes­day, Nov. 7, at the Mary­land State House in An­napo­lis. Ho­gan earned a sec­ond term Tues­day af­ter de­feat­ing Demo­cratic op­po­nent Ben Jeal­ous.

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