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Maryland Gov. Hogan tapped to co-chair bipartisan No Labels group

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan welcomes Democratic presidential electors Monday to the state's 59th Electoral College meeting in Annapolis.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan welcomes Democratic presidential electors Monday to the state's 59th Electoral College meeting in Annapolis. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun)

A group that bills itself as a “bipartisan governing coalition” has tapped Republican Gov. Larry Hogan as its new national co-chair.

No Labels announced Tuesday that Hogan will join Joe Lieberman, a former Democratic then independent U.S. senator from Connecticut, in helping to lead the organization.

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In a statement, No Labels called Hogan “a renowned leader who embodies its pragmatic brand of politics more than any elected official in America” and cited his appeal in Maryland polls among both Democrats and Republicans.

“He’s a Republican governor in one of the bluest states in America,” Lieberman said in the announcement.

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The group says it “brings leaders to the middle where problems get solved.”

The No Labels group said it has inspired the creation of a “House Problem Solvers Caucus” with 50 members evenly divided between the parties, and that Hogan has attended meetings with representatives and senators about finding common ground. The Problem Solvers Caucus does not have any Maryland members.

In No Labels statement, Hogan said, “Our message of putting aside partisan differences for the common good is needed more than ever.”

“Amid this awful pandemic, the people in my state and across our country are desperate for leaders to work across the aisle and focus on solving the urgent problems we face,” he said.

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Last month, Hogan appeared with Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia in a No Labels video urging Americans to respect the results of the presidential election.

The group has been criticized as pro-corporate. In 2018, U.S. Rep Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat and former chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, wrote an op-ed saying he joined, but found that the organization was “more about finding more centrist, more corporate and more special interest-focused things to do” than finding ways “to get things done and breaking gridlock.”

Hogan’s second term as governor ends in 2023 and term limits bar him from seeking a third. He openly considered a presidential run in the 2020 campaign and hasn’t ruled running in 2024.

Hogan has sought to elevate his political profile in his second term, writing a memoir and appearing frequently on national news shows during the coronavirus pandemic. He wrapped up a term this summer as head of the National Governors Association.

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