Apparently Larry Hogan thinks so. Larry is contemplating a run for governor against incumbent Martin O’Malley next year. Of course “contemplating” is a bit of an understatement since he is already raising money and has the requisite website up and running. He set up an “exploratory” committee in September.
Earlier this month he gave his first stump speech to the Howard County Republican Club as part of what he referred to as his “listening” tour. According to this story by Laura Smitherman in the The Sun, Hogan considers Howard County a “swing county.”
So goes Howard County, so goes the state?
That’s what Bob Ehrlich believes. According to this story by Len Lazerick in Maryland Reporter when Bob spoke to the same club back in October he told the party faithful that “As Howard County goes, so goes the state of Maryland.”
So what about Bob?
He is in the “listening” and contemplating mode too. This may be his last chance to hold a major political office. According to this analysis by Todd Eberly in the Gazette, the future beyond 2010 looks pretty bleak for Bob.
“Ehrlich will likely never have a better opportunity. A Republican presidential victory in 2012 would make 2014 a less hospitable year. An Obama re-election may make 2014 a good year for the GOP, but after eight years out of public office, would Ehrlich still be viable? Ehrlich could consider a run for the Senate, but Sen. Barbara Mikulski seems invincible. That would leave 2012 and Sen. Ben Cardin's seat, but Obama carried Maryland 62 percent to 37 percent in 2008 and would share the ballot in 2012; I would expect down-ballot coattails. For all the challenges, 2010 presents Ehrlich with his best chance for reclaiming the governorship. That's the reality that he must grapple with.”
Whoever ends up as the Republican nominee it looks like we can expect to see more of them in Howard County in the coming year.