Gov. Larry Hogan as an independent candidate for president? The lieutenant governor says it might happen.

Published on: August 10, 2022 10:27 AM EDT|Updated on: August 10, 2022 12:13 PM EDT

7/7/22—Gov. Larry Hogan speaks to reporters outside Annapolis Middle School on the first day of early voting in Maryland’s Primary Election.
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One of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s top political allies teased the possibility of the governor making a run for president in 2024 as an independent candidate.

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, speaking on WBAL Radio Wednesday morning, lamented the polarization of the country’s two main political parties. He suggested there might be room for more independent candidates who could appeal to voters with more centrist views.

“We could see an independent candidate possibly with the initials LH for president in a couple years,” Rutherford told hosts Bryan Nehman and Clarence Mitchell IV.

“LH” was clearly a reference to Hogan, the popular outgoing governor who has been weighing a run for president in 2024. Hogan is a Republican, but has frequently lamented the state of his party, particularly the continued loyalty to former President Donald J. Trump.

Last month, Republican voters rejected Hogan’s hand-picked successor, former state commerce and labor secretary Kelly Schulz, in nominating state Del. Dan Cox as the party’s candidate for governor. Hogan received zero percent of the vote in the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas last weekend.

Hogan did, however, issue a statement Tuesday pressing the federal government for more information about the search at Trump’s Florida home, saying “the American people deserve to know all the facts as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for Hogan’s political organization, An America United, offered a statement that neither confirmed nor denied the possibility of an independent candidacy.

“As Governor Hogan has repeatedly said, he’s focused on being governor of Maryland through next January and hasn’t decided what the future holds,” wrote An America United’s David Weinman. “He plans to continue being a voice of reason because he cares deeply about our country.”

Rutherford also touched on several other political topics in his radio interview, including the two leading candidates for governor in this fall’s election, Cox and Democrat Wes Moore.

Rutherford dismissed Cox’s statement earlier in the week, when the candidate promised he would use the Maryland State Police and the Maryland National Guard to block federal government actions like the search of Trump’s home in Florida.

“I’m not sure what he’s thinking there,” Rutherford said.

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Rutherford also expressed skepticism about Moore, who he noted lacks state or local government experience. Rutherford said Moore’s success may depend on who he brings with him to staff the State House and advise him.

If Moore’s team is made up of “rookies” and out-of-state people, the legislature is “going to run all over him.”

Moore was, however, endorsed by the top leaders of the General Assembly, House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson, before the primary election. Jones and Ferguson have pledged to work with Moore on shared priorities.

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