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Maryland’s Hogan will skip GOP convention again as party leaders hedge on funding his campaign

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican running to flip a Senate seat that could determine control of the chamber, will once again skip the Republican National Convention as a top party leader hedged on whether the GOP will help fund his campaign.

Hogan’s campaign has confirmed that the former governor will not attend the GOP’s convention next month in Milwaukee, July 15-18. Hogan, who has been one of the party’s fiercest critics of former President Donald Trump, also did not attend the party’s conventions in 2020 and 2016.

Hogan, who is trying to navigate a difficult path running in a heavily Democratic state, angered party leaders last week when he said that the public should “ respect the verdict and the legal process” prior to Trump’s conviction by a Manhattan jury on 34 felony counts related to hush money payments.

“At this dangerously divided moment in our history, all leaders — regardless of party — must not pour fuel on the fire with more toxic partisanship,” Hogan posted on X before the verdict was announced. “We must reaffirm what has made this nation great: the rule of law.”

Chris LaCivita, a senior Trump campaign adviser, shot back on X: “You just ended your campaign.”

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was convicted on all counts related to a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election by falsifying business records to hide hush money payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels, who said the two had sex. The former president slammed the verdict as politically motivated.

On Sunday, Lara Trump, the co-chair of the Republican National Committee and daughter-in-law of the former president, sharply criticized Hogan’s comments, saying on CNN’s State of the Union that Hogan “doesn’t deserve the respect of anyone in the Republican Party at this point.”

Asked whether the Republican Party would provide resources to support Hogan’s campaign, Lara Trump said, “Well, I will get back to you on all the specifics monetarily, but what I can tell you is that, as the Republican Party co-chair, I think he should never have said something like that. I think that’s ridiculous.”

In March, the RNC voted to install Trump’s handpicked leadership team, including Lara Trump as co-chair.

Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is fully sticking by Hogan, who is perhaps the GOP’s top recruit for the Senate this election cycle.

The committee’s chairman Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., told The Associated Press on Tuesday that “of course” it planned to support Hogan.

Asked about Lara Trump’s remarks, Daines suggested that Hogan is running a campaign that fits the politics of his own state.

“I think it’s important to remember that Larry Hogan is running for the U.S. Senate in Maryland and not Mississippi,” Daines said.

The outgoing Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said Tuesday he supports all Republican candidates.

“What I think is — we need more Republican members of the Senate,” McConnell said. “And whether you are Mike Lee or whether you are Susan Collins, we need more Republicans in order to set the agenda. So obviously I support all Republican candidates, and certainly, Governor Hogan would be among them.”

Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance, who was asked Monday about Hogan, said he thought Hogan’s post was “a huge mistake,” and that “when he says things that alienate the majority of Republicans in Congress I think it’s reasonable to criticize him, but I still hope he wins.”

“The nature of Larry Hogan’s candidacy and if he gets to the Senate, which hopefully he will – he’s going to be to the left of the majority of Republicans on almost every issue,” Vance said. “We’re going to criticize him, but I still want him to win.”

Hogan is trying to become the first Republican in more than 40 years to win a Senate seat in Maryland, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 ratio statewide, with much of the Democratic support in Baltimore and the suburbs of Washington. He is running against Democrat Angela Alsobrooks, the chief executive of Prince George’s County near the nation’s capital.

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Associated Press Writers Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed in Washington.

By BRIAN WITTE
Associated Press

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