Firehouse Project Director Diego Gomez Pens Op-Ed in ‘The Baltimore Sun’

April 4, 2024

Diego Gomez, Project Director, Firehouse Strategies

Long considered a Democratic stronghold, Maryland has suddenly become a battleground poised to boost Senate Republicans’ fortunes this November. Former Gov. Larry Hogan’s entry in the open Senate race surprised political pundits and placed Democrats on defense in a state considered safely blue. Election forecasters, such as Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, swiftly revised their predictions upon Hogan’s campaign launch, acknowledging a shift from “Safe Democratic” to a more competitive landscape.

If elected, Hogan would break a decades-long streak by becoming Maryland’s first Republican senator since 1987. Come November, he is expected to face leading Democratic contender Congressman David Trone of Maryland’s 6th District. The multi-millionaire founder of Total Wine, Trone has run expensive self-funded campaigns before, and he’s set to spend lavishly again on his Senate race. Reports indicate he has already poured a staggering $23.2 million into his campaign coffers.

As a former two-term governor, Hogan is no stranger to making electoral history. His 2014 gubernatorial victory marked the biggest political upset in that election cycle, with Hogan outperforming polls by double digits. And in 2018, he became only the second Republican governor to be re-elected in the state, winning comfortably by 11 points despite the year’s “blue wave.” He won by carving out a reputation as a moderate Republican willing to bridge partisan divides and publicly distance himself from then-President Donald Trump.

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