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Maryland Gov. Hogan’s vote for president? Ronald Reagan

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, cast a write-in vote for the late former President Ronald Reagan. Hogan is shown July 15, 2020.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, cast a write-in vote for the late former President Ronald Reagan. Hogan is shown July 15, 2020. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who has demonstrated that he’s no ally of President Donald Trump, cast a write-in vote for the late President Ronald Reagan in this fall’s election.

The Republican governor voted last week by sending off his ballot through the U.S. Postal Service, his spokesman, Mike Ricci, said Friday.

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Since Reagan is dead and not recognized as an official write-in candidate in Maryland, Hogan’s vote will be tallied by Anne Arundel County election officials as a vote for “other.” Maryland has two dozen recognized write-in candidates, including musician and entrepreneur Kanye West.

Hogan’s vote is not expected to make difference in the outcome of the Nov. 3 election in Maryland, where Trump is deeply unpopular. A recent Goucher College Poll found Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading Trump in the state, 61% to 30%.

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Though Hogan was courted by the so-called “never Trumpers” in the GOP to get in the race as an alternative to the president, he decided against a presidential run in 2019.

Hogan was asked repeatedly about his aspirations this summer as he promoted his political memoir, “Still Standing.” Hogan is barred by term limits from running for re-election as governor in 2022, and he’s been floated as a potential future candidate for U.S. Senate or the presidency.

Hogan often demurred and said he was focused on leading Maryland through the coronavirus pandemic.

Hogan has called out Trump frequently this year for incorrect statements about the coronavirus and insufficient federal help for state governments.

Like many Republicans, Hogan considers Reagan a political hero. As a college student, Hogan supported Reagan’s unsuccessful primary challenge of incumbent President Gerald Ford in 1976. Hogan later was named chair of Youth for Reagan and served as a delegate to the 1980 Republican convention where the party nominated Reagan for the presidency.

“The way Reagan spoke, his positive worldview, how he seemed to care about people, his willingness to reach across the aisle — I had found my kind of Republican,” Hogan wrote in his book. “Those ideas really connected with me. They would form the foundation of my future political beliefs.”

Four years ago, Hogan cast a write-in vote for his father, Larry Hogan Sr., for president. The elder Hogan, who died in 2017, was a former congressman and Prince George’s County executive.

The Washington Post first reported the governor’s vote for Reagan.

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