LARRY HOGAN: GADFLY TO GOVERNOR

Cheyenne, WY. – 1/13/15.

Def: Gadfly – a fly that bites or annoys cattle and horses; an irritating, critical but constructively provocative and helpful individual.

For years, forced to play the role of observer of the Maryland political scene and occasional pin-pricking commentator, Larry Hogan is now its Governor-elect. He will need to morph into the role of leader of “the Free State” quickly, and he will need to govern effectively in order to stay in that role for two terms.

For Maryland voters, this means an end to the damaging policies of former Governor Martin O’Malley, who was so intent upon pleasing his radical liberal base that he forgot he was supposed to help ALL Marylanders, not just a few on the left. He catered to the anti-gun people, the business haters, the secularists who oppose religion, and the advocates of class against class. He raised taxes, expanded the rolls of welfare recipients, and generally burdened the middle class, while his policies eleiminated businesses and the jobs they created.

I think Hogan will not forget that he is supposed to be the Governor of all the people. With a Conservative Republican twist? Of course. Those are the voters who, along with many fed-up Democrats, put him in office. When Governor Hogan trots out his economic policies, which will benefit ALL Marylanders, even Black Democrats will recognize the benefits to themselves AND their families. Hogan’s recent announcement of a first initiative, to move cargo more quickly from the Port of Baltimore through the outmoded Howard Street tunnel, is such a plan.

U.S. Representative Andy Harris (R-MD), has been for years the leader of Maryland’s Republican Party by virtue of the fact that he has been the only Republican to represent that Party in the State’s National Delegation. Harris was present at the recent Maryland Republican Party Convention in Ellicott City, in December. His message: unity. He urged the Party’s mainstream and conservative wings, which have often fought each other, to keep a long-term perspective. “We have to remain united [in 2015 and] on into the next election in 2018.”

Both Hogan and Harris noted that prospects for the Party appear good. Voters seem to have finally recognized the differences between Democrats and Republicans and appear to have tired of the more Socialist policies of their brothers and sisters on the left. “Obviously, to get things done here in Maryland, you have to reach across the aisle,” Hogan said. “But the Maryland Republican Party, greatly outnumbered and in a bit of debt, far from being dead, is now stronger than it has ever been in the history of the State of Maryland, and that includes the years when Bob Ehrlich was a one-term governor and Ellen Sauerbrey almost defeated Parris Glendenning for the governor’s mansion in Annapolis [back in 1994 and 1998].”

As a result of the recent election, Republicans now hold five of Maryland’s twenty-three county seats and a majority of elected local government posts across the state. Also, eleven more seats in their caucus in the General Assembly went to Republicans. Further, the State Party now has $135, 000 in its coffers and expects to pay off its debts this month.

Good to his word, Hogan has been quick to “reach across the aisle.” He recently met with Ken Ulman, running mate of defeated Democrat gubernatorial candidate, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. He told reporters in December that “it was always a possibility that I might find a place for Ulman in my Administration, because it’s amazing how close some of Ken’s views are to mine.”

Cognizant of the election results in Maryland, Republican National Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus, about to win an unprecedented third term, predicted that “Larry Hogan will be a legendary governor in Maryland,” and he urged the Party faithful to “keep building what you’ve started.”

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