Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ruled out a run for president earlier this year — or did he?

In an interview with CBS this week, the Republican hinted that a third-party bid for the presidency might still be on the table.

Interviewer Major Garrett asked Hogan about whether he might be a candidate for the No Labels coalition that he’s a part of.

“It’s not something I’m pursuing, but it’s — you’ve got to leave the door open. In case of emergency, break glass,” Hogan said, wearing sunglasses and sitting along the waterfront.

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No Labels is billed as a political organization focused on bipartisanship and representing the interests of “commonsense Americans.” Hogan is a national co-chair. The group does not have to fully disclose its funding, but The Daily Beast reported in 2018 many of their donors at the time worked in finance.

The group has been working to get recognition as a party in multiple states in order to appear on ballots and possibly put forward a 2024 presidential candidate.

But the No Labels efforts have come under fire, particularly from Democrats who fear a No Labels candidate might siphon votes away from President Joe Biden and hand the election to former President Donald J. Trump, if he’s the Republican nominee.

In the CBS interview, Hogan acknowledged the criticism.

“There’s been an awful lot of people kind of attacking that effort, but you just don’t know,” Hogan said. “Right now, about 70% of the people in America do not want Joe Biden or Donald Trump to be president. They don’t want a rematch of 2020. And yet, that appears, if the nominations were taking place today, that would be the case.”

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He continued: “And so if two-thirds of the people in the country really don’t want either Choice A or Choice B, then I don’t think you can close the door to see.”

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Various names have been floated as potential No Labels presidential candidates, including Hogan; U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat from West Virginia; and U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat-turned-independent from Arizona.

Garrett asked Hogan whether he might be the person at the top of the No Labels ticket.

“I mean, I think there are certainly a lot of people that would feel I would be a potential person,” Hogan responded.

Garrett pressed Hogan for his personal feelings on it.

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“I think it’s a long way off and my efforts right now are to try to stop Donald Trump from being the Republican nominee,” Hogan said. “And I’m hoping that one of my friends will be able to beat him and I can get behind them.”

While Trump remains the front-runner in the Republican field for 2024, there are a long list of challengers.

Hogan opted not to join that list, saying in March that he didn’t want to be part of a big field that would split up the anti-Trump vote and, in effect, help Trump. At the time, he was barely registering in national polls.

The roster of Republican candidates has only grown since then, including chief Trump challenger Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida; former U.N. ambassador and governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley; former governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, a Hogan ally; and former Vice President Mike Pence, among others.

Since ending his second term as Maryland governor in January, Hogan has done periodic national TV interviews, opining on national politics. He continues to operate his advocacy organization, An America United.

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Hogan also been running his eponymous real estate firm, including traveling to the International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Las Vegas last month, where he posted pictures on social media with business leaders and politicians. He now lives in Davidsonville, Maryland, with his wife, Yumi Hogan.

pamela.wood@thebaltimorebanner.com

Pamela Wood covers Maryland politics and government. She previously reported for The Baltimore Sun, The Capital and other Maryland newspapers. A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, she lives in northern Anne Arundel County. 

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