Will he run in 2020? Md. Gov. Hogan stirs up more speculation

WASHINGTON — Maryland’s popular Gov. Larry Hogan is stirring up more speculation that he may challenge President Donald Trump in a Republican primary in 2020.

In an interview with Politico Thursday, Hogan criticized the Republican National Committee, accusing it of trying to shield Trump from a primary by forming an unusually close partnership with his re-election campaign.

“It’s unprecedented,” said Hogan. “Maybe they’re concerned that they will drop in the polls and that they could be at some point down the road be subject to a threat in a primary.”

Trump’s campaign has taken extraordinary steps in cementing control over the RNC and the broader nomination process.

That state-by-state effort has included weighing in on local party races and the convention delegate selection process. The campaign is also closely monitoring discussions in some states, including South Carolina, to do away with their 2020 Republican primary contests entirely.

“I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve been involved in the Republican Party for most of my life,” Hogan said. “It’s unprecedented. And in my opinion it’s not the way we should be going about our politics. It’s very undemocratic.”

Hogan, who was elected to his second term last fall, has emerged as the new best hope of a small group of so-called Never Trump Republicans now seeking a prominent GOP official to fight Trump for his party’s presidential nomination in 2020. He noted that he has been meeting with donors along with other Republicans encouraging him to take on Trump.

Hogan told Politico that he plans to make a springtime stop in New Hampshire, the nation’s first primary state.

“At this point in time, I don’t see any path to winning a Republican primary against this president, or anybody doing it. But things have a way of changing,” Hogan said. “I don’t know what the lay of the land is going to look like this summer, or in the fall.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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