The Washington Post has issued in an endorsement in the Republican primary in the Maryland gubernatorial race. Their choice is Larry Hogan.
The editorial writers can’t even get through their opening without mocking the Maryland GOP:
MARYLAND’S MORIBUND Republican Party is holding a primary for governor next month, though voters might be excused for not noticing. Even compared with the lackluster Democratic contest, which has not set pulses galloping, the GOP race is a low-key affair, featuring anemically financed conservatives who are struggling to convey this message: Maryland has been laid low by the Democratic establishment in Annapolis, which in eight years under Gov. Martin O’Malley has taxed the life out of the state’s economy, leaving Virginia to claim the spoils.
It’s reasonable to question the proposition that Maryland’s economy is utterly supine, while still hoping for a genuine contest of ideas in this fall.
The paper seems to be supporting Hogan because he doesn’t want tax cuts as big as those proposed by his opponents (emphasis added):
Mr. Hogan, a genial Anne Arundel real estate broker whose father was a congressman in the 1970s, has distinguished himself from his main primary rivals by toning down the anti-tax brimstone and acknowledging the reality that Maryland is not Texas and a Republican governor will have to meet Democratic lawmakers in some conciliatory middle ground. Unlike Harford County Executive David R. Craig, who would start by declaring war on the state income tax, or Charles County businessman Charles Lollar, who would lead state government by attempting to eviscerate it, Mr. Hogan has a more modest agenda and a more realistic one.
He would seek spending cuts — ill-defined so far — by scouring agencies for what he calls small-ticket inefficiencies already identified in scores of audits. While he’s vague about the targets of spending trims, he’s also cautious not to overpromise: A 5 percent reduction in state spending, he says accurately, would be a major achievement. And commensurate tax cuts might start to repair the state’s business climate, which even Democrats acknowledge needs improvement.
Here’s what the post has to say about Hogan’s drawn out campaign since he started Change Maryland (emphasis added):
Given the time he’s had to plan his run, his campaign is glaringly short on policy specifics, and his views on education, health care and the environment are gauzy at best.
WaPo’s editors also like the fact he has distanced himself from the rest of the GOP:
Still, he intentionally has distanced himself from more doctrinaire Republicans.
The funniest line of the whole endorsement:
By positioning himself to the left of the GOP’s bomb-throwers, Mr. Hogan offers the best hope for a real race in November.
In other words, WaPo wants you to support the candidate that they deem to be the farthest to the left in the GOP field. I don’t think any of the candidates could be mistaken for bomb-throwers by any stretch of the imagination – of course the WaPo editorial board lives in a fantasy world generally anyway.
Just remember, these same editors will be almost certainly endorsing Anthony Brown or Doug Gansler in November and Larry Hogan is who they’ve chosen to be their favored opponent against their probable November choice.
(It’s also worth noting that Ron George doesn’t even get a mention in their discussion of Hogan’s opponents.)
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.