Governor Hogan is Winning Hearts and Minds
Governor Larry Hogan has a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, and so do the citizens of Maryland, who voted him into office a year ago, because they believed he was a man of his word. Hogan’s gubernatorial run in 2014 marked the first time he had ever campaigned for public office. His promise to Change Maryland resonated with frustrated voters, who overturned the eight-year O’Malley-Brown tax and spend stranglehold and rejoiced when the pro-business candidate scored an upset victory that landed him in the statehouse.
“I knew it would be a cold day in hell when another Republican was elected,” quipped the new governor during his snowy inauguration ceremony at the state capitol in Annapolis back in January.
Then Hogan, who became only the second Maryland GOP governor in 40 years, went straight to work. Over the next several months, he launched a myriad of tax cuts and a rollback of $50 million in state fees over the next five years, although his statewide repeal of the detested rain tax was blocked by a House committee. While this was a disappointment to Hogan, he surely realized that the Dems would remain true to their “principles” of taxing every square inch of usable space.
In June came the shocking news that Gov. Hogan had cancer, but not even his stage 3 non-Hodgkins lymphoma dimmed the happy warrior’s spirits. Facing the public announcement of his diagnosis with Reaganesque composure, Hogan observed that “the best news is that my odds of getting through this and beating this are much, much better than the odds I had of beating Anthony Brown.”
And sure enough, after five months of treatments including 18 weeks of chemotherapy, Gov. Hogan is not only ending the year cancer free, with a slew of accomplishments, but he is one of only three governors with a 69 percent approval rating. This is good news, since it means that he must be gaining supporters from the opposition party in blue, blue Maryland.
Last week, Hogan made an another important decision by adding his name to the list of nearly 30 governors who have requested “that federal authorities cease any additional settlements of refugees from Syria in Maryland until the U.S. government can provide appropriate assurances that refugees from Syria pose no threat to public safety.”
And that’s not all.
After being named the Fox News Power Player of the Week on November 22, Gov. Hogan sat down for his first nationally televised interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday and discussed his journey from cancer patient to being 100 percent cancer free and a strong advocate for more fruitful cancer research.
Of course, it will take more time to undo the harmful policies of Hogan’s predecessor Martin O’Malley, who slapped Marylanders with 40 tax hikes totaling $9.5 billion during his eight years in office. However, after languishing in low single digits on the national stage, where not even the residue from his rain tax could prevent O’Malley’s presidential candidacy from sinking further into the memory hole, the former governor may soon have some time on his hands.
Meanwhile, Gov. Hogan recently applauded Maryland’s new revenue estimates for 2016, which have been revised upward by $80.6 million since March. The new figures reflect the recent positive growth in Maryland’s economy, including the addition of 32,700 new jobs since January.
These days, even The Washington Post reports that Governor Hogan “is viewed more favorably than either the Democratic or Republican Party, adding that he is presiding over a state that is riding a wave of increased optimism. For the first time since 2007, a majority of residents polled say that things in Maryland are headed in the right direction.”
Fun fact: Gov. Hogan is a dog lover. “I’ve shaken tens of thousands of hands, but I’ve petted more dogs,” he noted during a 2014 campaign stop in Rockville, adding that “If dogs could vote, this would be a landslide victory.”