State Watch

Hogan in final State of the State address bemoans ‘toxic politics’

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R ) on Wednesday lamented “broken and toxic politics” within the United States and said the country was “bitterly divided” during his final State of the State address.

During his address, Hogan slammed a new congressional map that was approved by Maryland’s General Assembly in December that puts Democrats at a 7-1 advantage in addition to a Democratic-supported legislative map for its 188 General Assembly seats, according to the Associated Press.

“We need to restore trust and fairness to our political system by allowing voters to pick their elected representatives, rather than having politicians pick their voters,” Hogan said during his address. “Gerrymandering is partisanship at its worst. It’s a cancer on our democracy, and Maryland has the unfortunate distinction of having the worst, most gerrymandered districts in America.”

The Maryland governor said that the maps “make a mockery of our democracy,” vowing that the final arbiter would be the court and not legislators. 

Hogan also subtly nodded to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot during his remarks, noting the importance of where he was delivering his remarks. 

“I’m speaking to you tonight from the Old Senate Chamber of our historic State House in Annapolis,” Hogan said. “It was in this very chamber that General George Washington relinquished his command of the Continental Forces, laying the foundation for a new republic with the first peaceful transition of power in our history.”

Despite his remarks about the “broken and toxic politics” in the U.S., he also touted achievements, including the state’s $2.5 billion surplus, adding more manufacturing jobs in the state and a Re-Fund The Police Initiative – a foil to some Democrats’ calls in the U.S. to defund police.

“To those who say that America is too divided, that our political system is too broken and can’t be fixed, I would argue that we have already shown a better path forward,” Hogan said.

Hogan’s remarks come as some Republicans have privately pushed for Hogan to run for Senate against Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who is up for reelection in 2022. The Cook Political Report’s latest Senate race ratings rate the seat as “solid Democrat.”

Hogan declined to say last month if he planned on filing to run before the Feb. 22 deadline. 

Tags Chris Van Hollen Larry Hogan Larry Hogan Maryland

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