Md. gov. talks about running for higher office, Amazon and life at governor’s mansion

BETHESDA, Md. —  Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican running for re-election, said he’s focused on winning a second term, but when asked if he aspires to higher office he added, “I mean, you never say never”.

Hogan sat down for a question-and-answer session with David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group at the Economic Club of Washington’s luncheon in Bethesda on Thursday.

Hogan maintains high approval ratings, despite being a Republican in a state where Democrats continue to outnumber Republicans 2 to 1.

Hogan joked with Rubenstein, saying the question was whether he had considered running after serving a second term. Hogan said, “You didn’t say anything about 2020” adding quickly, “Just kidding.”

On the likelihood of getting Amazon to move to Montgomery County, Hogan said, “I think there’s a really good chance it’s going to happen.”

Maryland offered a multibillion dollar incentive package to draw Amazon’s “HQ2” to the state. A decision is expected by the end of the year, Hogan said.

Hogan pointed out that Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos was scheduled as a guest of the Economic Club in September. He told Rubenstein, “I think you should close the deal right here!” The crowd burst into applause as Rubenstein replied, “OK, we’ll try!”

Rubenstein asked Hogan about life in the Governor’s Mansion in Annapolis. Hogan said that while it was “a real honor” to live in the Governor’s Mansion, it’s not the most comfortable setting. “It’s like living in a museum.”

The governor told a story that he said his communications team would not want him to share, but he said it shows how residents of the Governor’s Mansion have little to no privacy.

He explained that there’s a staircase that goes up three flights. In one of the first weeks in office, he woke one morning to start his day.

“I’m walking from my bedroom to an office that’s on the second floor thinking no one’s there, and I look over the rail and there’s people having a tour. I’m in my boxers, with a cup of coffee in my hand! So quickly I learned, there’s no privacy in the Governor’s Mansion.”

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.


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