Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan isn’t giving up on Republicans picking someone other than Donald Trump as the party’s presidential nominee.
He’s also not turning his back on a potential third-party ticket or involvement in one.
“We’re not lacking candidates. We have 11 other candidates besides Trump,” said Hogan during an interview with CBS News on Monday. “We have six of my former gubernatorial colleagues. I’m unsure why we would need one or two more or what a difference they would make.”
Hogan, a lifelong Republican, said the focus on wooing Trump’s supporters “is not part of the issues the average voter cares about.”
Instead, he said the candidates participating in the first Republican primary debate on Wednesday should focus on the economy, crime, U.S. involvement in Ukraine, and education.
“There are a lot of important issues out there,” he said. “What we’re talking about are other things. That seems to be where the focus is with culture warrior stuff and talking about Trump indictments repeatedly.”
Hogan once considered a run for president as a Republican after two terms leading a state in which registered Democrats hold a decisive edge. In March, he announced he would not seek his party’s nomination for president in 2024.
But Hogan remains in the mix. As national co-chair of the centrist group No Labels, he’s frequently mentioned and asked about a third-party run
“I don’t know they’re going to run anybody,” Hogan said. “They’re only willing to consider this if the nominees are Biden and Trump, and 70% of the people in America do not want those choices. That’s just a long way off.”
Hogan said he isn’t focused on a third-party run. He is, however, keeping his options open.
A third-party campaign for president has yet to be successful. No Labels apparently will not offer up a ticket unless Trump and Biden are the nominees of their respective parties. National polling finds that 70% of voters don’t want either as president.
Hogan has been mentioned as a potential candidate along with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat turned independent. In one instance, Hogan and Manchin were mentioned as potential running mates.
“I think that’s all speculation,” Hogan told CBS, adding that it all comes down to whether Biden and Trump are the nominees.
“If they are, then there is a good chance No Labels will try to assemble a ticket,” he said. “I think two-thirds of the people in America have said they would consider an independent ticket. A unity ticket with a Republican and Democrat running together is not a bad idea. It appeals to many people in America who are frustrated and fed up with politics as usual. They’re disgusted with Washington. They want somebody who will take the country in a different direction.”
This article was originally published on MarylandMatters.org and is republished with permission.