What they're saying about Larry Hogan's win

Larry Hogan, from second left, his wife Yumi, Monica Rutherford, the wife of running mate Boyd Rutherford and their supporters celebrate their victory at his campaign headquarters.
Larry Hogan, from second left, his wife Yumi, Monica Rutherford, the wife of running mate Boyd Rutherford and their supporters celebrate their victory at his campaign headquarters. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Larry Hogan's win over Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown for Maryland governor was considered a surprise by many, and part of a Republican sweep across the country during the midterm election. Here's what's being said around the web about how the victory fits into the larger national political landscape.

Political prognosticator Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight website, which predicted an easy win by Brown, explains why it called the race wrong:


"What happened? First, 94 percent favorites are supposed to lose sometimes (6 percent of the time, to be exact). Hogan's chance of winning was roughly equivalent to the chance No. 14 seed Mercer had of beating No. 3 seed Duke in the NCAA men's basketball tournament this past March. Underdogs can win.

But there was also a problem more specific to Maryland: Our gubernatorial model relies on polls, and polls alone, and the most reliable public pollsters stopped surveying the race a month before Election Day."


"Prior to becoming governor-elect this week, Hogan was just 'Larry' to his Edgewater neighbors, who also called him 'excellent,' 'honest' and 'down to earth.'

He had built his business, the Hogan Cos., into a real estate development firm that has completed $2 billion in transactions, including a deal with National Harbor in Prince George's County.

One of Hogan's favorite stops is Chad's BBQ in Edgewater, a short drive from his house. He loves all the food, but his favorite may be the smoked chicken wings, said Terry White, the restaurant's hostess."

"So why wasn't I surprised by the result? Because I'm not a political pundit but I do live (and pay lots of taxes) in Maryland and I found his ads, with their unrelenting focus on the tax and fee hikes that have taken place during the last eight years of one party Democratic rule in the state, extraordinarily effective."

"Larry Hogan, Maryland's governor-elect, is no stranger to long-shot candidacies. In 1992, the commercial-real-estate broker tried to oust Steny Hoyer, then chairman of the House Democratic caucus and one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress."

"I was surprised by the margin of victory," said attorney general Doug Gansler, who ran against Brown in the primary. But he noted "a lot of dissatisfaction in Maryland," he said during an interview on WBAL Wednesday morning. While he said the state has seen a lot of progress over the last eight years, he felt the economy was a major issue and that Hogan's victory showed that "all the taxes is too much to bear."

He said Brown had a difficulty distinguishing himself from the O'Malley administration. "I think that's one of the pitfalls of being lieutenant governor." But he also said Brown's campaign message didn't go far enough beyond becoming the first African-American governor. He said voters want to see what are you going to do for them. "You need a second sentence. Why is that important?"

Brown said now Maryland's democratic party has to become reflective. Hogan's victory "should be a big bucket of water over people's heads," adding that Hogan will be the second republic to take office since Spiro Agnew.


"Christie says that despite traveling across the country in support of Republican governors, the credit for the GOP's midterm gains shouldn't fall to him. 'The candidates deserve the credit.,' Christie told TODAY's Matt Lauer on Wednesday. 'They did a great job.'"

"[Brown] was continually challenged by Hogan, a businessman and son of a congressman, about the O'Malley administration's steady stream of tax increases.

'I don't think Brown ever got out from under that,' Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. the state's last GOP governor, told Fox News.com early Tuesday. 'And Larry had such message discipline.'"

"'Larry Hogan's commitment to Maryland, its families and its future made it clear he was the best candidate to lead the state forward, and the voters agreed,' said RGA Chairman Chris Christie. 'As their governor, he will put his forward-looking vision into action, working tirelessly to enact a common sense, pro-growth agenda that will make Maryland competitive and prosperous again. The Republican Governors Association is proud to congratulate Governor-elect Larry Hogan on his victory.'

The Republican Governors Association was a key investor in Governor-elect Larry Hogan's victory, spending $1.2 million in the final weeks of the campaign on paid media. The RGA ran one television ad in Maryland detailing Democrat Anthony Brown's support for higher taxes and fees on a multitude of items, and defined Brown as the second string for Martin O'Malley's third high-tax term."

"The Republicans' victory in the race underscored the GOP's strength in 2014 election. Polls showed Mr. Brown with a strong lead until the end of October. Both sides spent millions of dollars on the race."


"Brown was vying to become the state's first African American governor and served as lieutenant governor under Martin O'Malley. But his association with the increasingly unpopular outgoing governor cost him votes."


"Mr. Hogan's win, coupled with a slew of Republican victories Tuesday night, is another example of Republicans winning a race where Democrats were considered to have a slight advantage. ...

Anti-Obama sentiment likely gave Mr. Hogan a boost, particularly as Mr. Brown—unlike most Democrats this cycle—didn't shy away from appearing with the president over the course of his campaign. President Barack Obama stumped for him last month and urged voters to head to the polls, and Mr. Brown called the president a 'friend, a partner and a leader.'"

"Republican Larry Hogan won a shocking upset in Maryland on Tuesday night, using a relentless focus on economic issues to dispatch Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and will become only the second Republican to govern the Free State in more than 40 years."

"While most of the nation's attention was focused on their Senate bloodbath, the Democrats' bad night got even worse at the state level Tuesday. Republicans seized the governorships in six battleground states – including in President Barack Obama's home state of Illinois – and retook the Democratic stronghold of Massachusetts.  

In total, Republicans had won or led in 26 of 36 state governor's races by early Wednesday morning. ... In Maryland, Brown – who served two terms under popular governor (and potential Democratic presidential challenger) Martin O'Malley – was unable to hold what had been a substantial lead over Hogan."

"Republicans had a very, very good day Tuesday. How good? Consider these surprises: In deep-blue Maryland, GOP businessman Larry Hogan beat Anthony Brown, the state's Democratic lieutenant governor after an unexpectedly close gubernatorial race."

"On the other side, Secretary Larry Hogan represents not just hope for a brighter and better Maryland but a whole new day in how politics can work for everyone. He knows how to put people to work, because he's done that his entire life in business--the right way. He understands what it takes to grow an economy, because he's had to balance his books, manage healthcare costs, rely on our education system, and evolve for new opportunities and the challenges of the 21st century to succeed--and he has. And he knows what most of Marylanders feel, the reason we need help in Annapolis now, that the talk about economic recovery hasn't translated to major increases in our home values or our salaries, to lower tuition costs, or to a decrease in the overall financial burden on our families."

Sun reporter Jessica Anderson contributed to this report. 

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