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In Honor of Rep. Larry Hogan

In Honor of Rep. Larry Hogan
Larry Hogan junior and senior greet Gov. Chris Christie in 2015. (AP)

By Sunday, 23 April 2017 11:19 AM Current | Bio | Archive

When Rep. Lawrence J. Hogan died on Thursday at age 88, I recalled many conversations with a smile.

His son, the current governor of Maryland, Larry Jr. worked in all of his dad’s campaigns, going back to the ages of 10 and 12. That’s when he handed out brochures in the elder Hogan’s losing bid in 1966 and winning bid two years later against Democratic Rep. Hervey Machen.

The senior Hogan always had big aspirations for his son:  “Larry Jr. was going to win that race, but the Democrats panicked on the weekend before the vote and pulled out all the stops!” Hogan told me. “But don’t write off Larry Jr. He’s doing well as a developer now, but he’ll be back running for something. You watch!” He was recalling his namesake-son’s 1992 near-successful run for Congress in the Prince George’s County district of Maryland that the elder Hogan himself represented from 1968-74.

Larry, Jr., of course, did “run for something” being governor of Maryland — the office that eluded his father when he lost nomination for governor in 1974 after becoming the first Republican on the House Judiciary Committee to announce he would vote for Richard Nixon’s impeachment.

At a Sunday brunch with our wives in December of 2002, the senior Hogan wanted me to know about his son, rather than discuss his own career as congressman and Prince George’s County executive (1978-82). Hogan wanted to make sure I knew why his son was defeated in his own trip to the polls a decade earlier.

“Federal employee unions, the local Democratic organization — they did everything they could to smear Larry Jr. and drag Steny over the finish line,” he said, referring to his son’s opponent, present House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer.

The Hogans were a mutual admiration society as well as a political team. Gov. Hogan always called his father “my hero” and, after refusing to support Donald Trump last year, revealed he wrote in his father for president.

In an interview with Newsmax two weeks before he was elected governor in 2016, the younger Hogan recalled how his congressman-father introduced him to another political hero of his, Rep. Jack Kemp of New York.

“Jack was my man!” he said, noting that he got to work out with the onetime Buffalo Bills quarterback in the House gym and that “Jack taught us never to write to write off any voters. So I'm taking my message to Prince George's County and the east side of Baltimore, to black voters and blue-collar voters, and just letting them hear a fresh alternative to eight years of failed leadership.”

Much as Trump has been criticized for having son-in-law Jared Kushner at his side in the White House, Larry, Sr. was blasted by Prince George’s County Democrats when, following his election as county executive, he added Larry Jr. as an aide to his staff.

Under the aegis of the Hogans, the county’s property tax rate was reduced by 20 percent, 2,400 public employee positions were eliminated from the county payroll, and the county budget was reduced.

A graduate of Georgetown University and its law school, Larry Hogan, Sr. was an FBI agent for 10 years and later launched a successful public relations firm. In Congress, he was a stalwart conservative who opposed court-ordered school busing and supported victory in the Vietnam War. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, he vigorously backed anti-crime measures and defended his old boss, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, from attacks by the left.

In an interview on his 100th birthday in 2016, former Wyoming Rep. John Wold was recalling his GOP classmates in the House’s class of ’68. The class included such notables as future Connecticut Sen. Lowell Weicker and future U.S. Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan.

When I mentioned Larry Hogan was also in his class, Wold piped up and said: “I liked that guy!” So did a lot of other people.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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When Rep. Lawrence J. Hogan died on Thursday at age 88, I recalled many conversations with a smile.
larry hogan, maryland, trump
Sunday, 23 April 2017 11:19 AM
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