In new TV ad, Maryland's Larry Hogan charts potential Senate path forward as centrist

Republican Senate candidate Larry Hogan is warning Republicans in Washington, D.C., that he won’t be a reliable vote if Maryland chooses to send him to the Capitol. 

In a new TV ad aired Tuesday, the former Maryland governor stressed his bipartisan bona fides. “In the Senate, Republicans can’t count on my vote. But then again, neither can Democrats,” he said. 

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“If they want my vote, they will have to do what is right for Maryland, not one political party,” Hogan continued in the video, first reported by Punchbowl News. “That’s exactly what I did as your governor, and exactly the kind of senator I’ll be.”

The latest ad comes as Democrats, who are fighting an uphill battle to hold onto the Senate majority despite an unfavorable election map, have taken aim at the Maryland Republican, painting him as a lackey of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and a dependable GOP vote. 

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Using the particularly hot-button election issue of abortion, Democrats have claimed Hogan would help Republicans in the Senate pass a national ban on the procedure. However, the former Republican governor has said he is “pro-choice” and would support codifying the overturned Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, per the New York Times. 

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The deep blue state of Maryland is considered a “Likely Democratic” race by the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan political handicapper. Before Hogan entered the race, the Senate seat being vacated by outgoing Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., was understood to be a safe win for Democrats. But the popular two-term governor’s choice to run has presented an unexpected challenge for the Democratic Party, which already contends with several difficult elections across the country. 

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Despite his party affiliation, Hogan has shown promise in the blue state, especially with his reputation as an anti-Trump moderate. 

In a March Washington Post/University of Maryland poll, Hogan defeated then-Democratic primary candidate Angela Alsobrooks 50%-36%. Notably, the poll was conducted during a heated Democratic primary campaign, prior to the Prince George’s County executive’s win. 

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