BETHESDA — Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is not shy about his ambitions for 2018.
He boasts about his high approval rating – 69 percent according to a Goucher Poll. He said he is confident that Amazon will place its new headquarters in the state, and he has declared he will do what no Republican gubernatorial candidate has done since 1990 – win Montgomery County.
“You know, a lot of people kind of laugh at that one, just liked they laugh at me saying I was going to be elected governor,” Hogan said about his declaration he will win Montgomery County in November’s election. “I think the people in Montgomery County – although I think it’s three to one, Democrat to Republican – I think they appreciate the job that we’ve done.”
At an event with Economic Club of Washington, Hogan discussed his time as governor, hoping to solidify support and making his pitch to Montgomery County voters
Hogan, one of the most popular governors in the country, has to plans to win big in November. The Republican governor has been able to court some Democrats' support and to distance himself from President Donald J. Trump.
Most of Hogan’s biggest accomplishments as governor have been achieved, in part, with support from Democrats.
While Democrats in the General Assembly have debated Hogan on a number of issues during his tenure of governor, and have made frequent complaints about the governor being absent from the legislative process or playing politics, Hogan has cited one person in particular as being crucial in his support – Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.
While Leggett said he hopes to endorse Jealous for governor, he has withheld his endorsement so far, a fact that David Rubenstein, co-chairman of The Carlyle Group and moderator of the event, made clear to Hogan, which Hogan used as an opportunity to praise Leggett.
“Ike Leggett and I, the County Executive here in Montgomery County, are a team. Again, a bipartisan effort, working together,” Hogan said about Leggett’s role in attempting to attract tech giant Amazon to Montgomery County.
For both Hogan and Leggett, luring Amazon to the Montgomery County is a top priority.
During the event, Hogan said he is confident that Amazon will choose Montgomery County as a destination for its second headquarters. While Hogan originally pushed a bid for Amazon to locate its HQ2 to Baltimore, when Montgomery County made the final list of 20 possible spots, Hogan pushed for a state incentive package, $8.5 billion in incentives if Amazon were to choose to locate its new headquarters in the state.
Hogan, who previously said County officials told him that Marc Elrich's candidacy for Montgomery County could jeopardize the bid for Amazon’s HQ2, told reporters that Amazon officials are watching how politics unfold on the state and local levels.
“I think that’s probably one of the factors they’re looking at,” Hogan said about whether politics plays a factor in Amazon’s decision. “I think with the election of County Executive in Montgomery County and the race for governor, I’m sure they’re paying attention.”