Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said that the refusal of leading voices in his party to accept the election of Democrat Joe Biden as president could “tarnish the brand” of the GOP at a pivotal time as U.S. Senate control hangs in the balance.
Hogan, who had previously questioned “frivolous” Republican lawsuits challenging various states' vote counts, went further on Tuesday during a press conference focused mostly about the coronavirus pandemic.
The second-term governor said his party faced consequences if President Donald Trump continued to allege voter fraud and top Republican allies resisted a transition to Biden, the former vice president.
“I think it’s a mistake for the country. I think it’s a mistake for the Republican Party, especially as we have the Senate hanging in the balance in two runoff elections in Georgia,” Hogan said in Annapolis in response to a question.
“Doing anything to tarnish the brand and cost us votes is a pretty significant thing,” the governor said.
Maryland Policy & Politics
While major networks have called the race for Biden, Trump has refused to concede. His campaign has alleged voting irregularities and filed a number of election-related lawsuits in battleground states.
On Jan. 5, a pair of Georgia runoff elections will determine the balance of power in the Senate. Democrat Jon Ossoff is challenging Republican incumbent David Perdue, and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, is trying to unseat Republican Kelly Loeffler.
Democrats would need to win both races to get to 50 Senate seats. Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, a Democrat, would vote to break any ties over legislation, effectively giving her party control.
Hogan was quick to congratulate Biden on his election victory but said Tuesday that other well-known Republican voices such as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have done the same and “even more do not want to stop the transition from happening.”
Hogan said he was disappointed in comments made by others, including Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who have “a completely different take on it.”
Hogan did not support Trump, instead choosing to write in the name of the late President Ronald Reagan on his mail-in ballot. Hogan also participated in a video with the No Labels organization, joining U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a Democrat, in calling on Americans to respect the results of the election.
The governor has been floated as a possible 2024 presidential candidate but said he is focused on his current responsibilities.