Former Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday that he is not planning to run for president in 2024, coming amid years of speculation that he would.
“I have long said that I care more about ensuring a future for the Republican Party than securing my own future in the Republican Party. That is why I will not be seeking the Republican nomination for president,” he said on Twitter.
If Hogan were to run for president, he would be a long-shot candidate. For years, Hogan has frequently criticized former President Donald Trump—still arguably the most popular figure in the Republican Party—in media appearances.
In the past two presidential elections, Hogan publicly stated he did not vote for Trump, the party nominee. He said he wrote in the name of his father, former U.S. Rep. Larry Hogan Sr., in 2016 and the late President Ronald Reagan in 2020.
Hogan served two terms as Maryland’s governor and left office earlier this year after being term-limited. Last year, he would not endorse the Trump-backed GOP candidate for Maryland, Dan Cox, who lost to current Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, a Democrat.
Hogan’s pick for governor was Kelly Schulz, who was labor secretary and commerce secretary in his administration. She lost in the Republican primary to Trump-endorsed Dan Cox, a state lawmaker who questioned the outcome of the 2020 election and who sought to impeach Hogan for his pandemic lockdown policies.
“I did give it serious consideration and I talked to people everywhere and I talked to my family,” Hogan also told CBS News on Sunday “And it was a tough decision. But I’ve decided that I will not be a candidate for the Republican nomination for president.”
In the interview, the former governor said that Trump factored into his decision not to run.
“I didn’t want to have a pile up of a bunch of people fighting,” Hogan told the outlet. “Right now, you have Trump and DeSantis at the top of the field, they’re soaking up all the oxygen, getting all the attention. And then a whole lot of the rest of us in single digits and the more of them you have, the less chance you have for somebody rising up.”
Hogan also claimed that he “didn’t need that job,” referring to the presidency. “I didn’t need to run for another office. It was really, I was considering it because I thought it was public service and maybe I can make a difference,” he added.
Last month, after Trump’s former U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, announced her White House campaign in February, Hogan said he would “absolutely” consider sitting out the 2024 race if it appeared that Trump could benefit from a large field of rivals who could splinter support among non-Trump candidates.
“That would be a pretty good reason to consider not running, absolutely,” Hogan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
Some Republicans had hoped that Hogan, emerging as the new best hope of a small group of “Never Trump Republicans,” would challenge Trump in 2020. But a year after Hogan’s reelection in 2018, he said that while he appreciated “all of the encouragement” he had received to run for president, he would not. Hogan told The Associated Press he had no interest in a “kamikaze mission.”
Meanwhile, a recent poll from Quinnipiac about potential 2024 challengers shows that Hogan received less than 1 percent of the share of would-be Republican voters.
However, in recent interviews and on Sunday, Hogan claimed that he had a chance of winning. The former governor pointed to his two wins in Maryland, a heavily Democratic state, and said he was also cast off as a long-shot candidate in the state’s gubernatorial elections.
“Is there a path, and is it worth the effort, and can I make a difference?” he said in an Associated Press interview in December, recalling his thought process on whether to run for governor. “And those are the kinds of questions I’ll have to try to answer.”
Last November, Hogan launched his own political action committee, or PAC, and again criticized Trump by saying the GOP and the United States should “move on” from Trump.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.