Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday endorsed Republican Matt McDaniel in the City Council race to represent Southeast Baltimore, a relative conservative pocket in the city that chose Hogan over his Democratic competitor in the 2014 election.
McDaniel, a lawyer from Canton who says he will bring greater fiscal responsibility to the city, in November will face Democrat Zeke Cohen, an educator from Canton who focuses much of his campaign on providing more opportunities for children.
Hogan said McDaniel "has the right ideas to continue moving Baltimore in the right direction."
"He is committed to improving Baltimore's economy and making the area safer to live, work and start a family," Hogan said in a statement released Monday. "The City Council needs Matt's experience and judgment, and that is why I'm proud to endorse him today."
November's 1st District election is believed to be the most competitive in heavily Democratic Baltimore since the 1940s. Hogan topped Democrat Anthony G. Brown in that district two years ago, 53 percent to 47 percent.
Councilman James B. Kraft did not seek re-election to the seat that represents Little Italy, Fells Point and Highlandtown, among other Southeast neighborhoods.
McDaniel said he would offer "common sense policies," similar to Hogan.
"People were ready to change Maryland in 2014 and Baltimore wants to be part of that change: smart economics, job growth, and effective government," McDaniel said in a statement. "Governor Hogan has focused on common sense and bringing people to the table. He's a champion for Marylanders. The people in the City know that as much, or more, than anyone else."
Breaking News Alerts
McDaniel reported a cash balance of $12,000 compared to Cohen's $77,000, according to the most campaign finance reports filed in late August.
Hogan also has endorsed Republican state Del. Kathy Szeliga in the U.S. Senate race against Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen.
But the popular governor typically keeps somewhat of a distance from party politics. He skipped the party's annual fundraiser Friday for the second year in a row. A Hogan spokesman said the governor had a scheduling conflict and could not attend the Maryland GOP's Red, White & Blue dinner in Glen Burnie
Last year's fundraiser — which coincided with news of Hogan's cancer diagnosis — featured Donald Trump, the now-Republican nominee for president who is expected to campaign in Baltimore Monday.
Hogan, whose cancer has been in remission since last fall, has said he is "not a Trump fan" and will not vote for him in November. The governor also did not attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, saying then that he did not have an obligation to be involved in national politics.