MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Friday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan came to Murphy’s Diner on Elm Street to speak at an event for Manchester State Senate candidate Rich Girard.
Introduced by State Representative Bill Boyd (R-Merrimack), Girard attacked Democrats on abortion, educational issues and other topics. He also said that despite the Democratic lean of State Senate District 20, which consists of Manchester Wards 2,3,4,10,11 and 12, that he can beat 12-term incumbent Lou D’Allesandro.
In particular, Girard believed that Hogan’s victory as a Republican in an extremely Democratic state could serve as a blueprint to victory: stating that his efforts with a diverse group of colleagues on the Board of School Committee negotiating collective bargaining agreements echoed the bi-partisan but principled approach Hogan has claimed as a trademark.
However, he aimed to balance that hope for bi-partisanship with attacks on Democrats he sees as more interested in pursuing agendas than serving their constituents.
“I hope we can all take something from (Hogan) as Republicans and win the election we need to win; win the battles we need to fight and find common ground wherever it is possible and gentlemanly disagree whenever we cast our votes and do the work we need to do or don’t knowing that at the end of the day we’re a hell of a lot better than the people who are crazy on the other side (and) trying to wreck our country.”
The stop was one of several in New England for Hogan, highlighted by his speech at the New England Council’s Politics and Eggs series on Thursday.
One thing he stated on Thursday is his hope to help Republicans like Girard in other parts of the country, adding at Friday’s event that he is likely to target supporting Republicans in swing districts or areas with significant Democratic majorities given his experience running in a heavily Democratic state.
While Hogan stated that each race is different and candidate messaging or focus may change depending on the specific electorate, listening to and addressing the problems of voters should be a key part of any candidate’s pitch.
“I think in red districts you can talk about more ‘red meat’ issues and have a better reception from some folks, but I still think folks want you to focus on the things they care about, and they’re not always the ‘red meat’ issues. It’s kind of the loudest, angriest few that are talking about that,” he said. “But most people right now, I can tell you, they’re not arguing about a lot of things other than the economy and rising costs and putting gas in their car and putting food on their table and how they’re going to afford it.”
Long seen as a potential moderate challenger to former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican Presidential Nomination, Hogan stated on Thursday that he will not make a decision on whether to run for president until his term as governor concludes in January. However, it is unlikely that Trump’s actions will impact Hogan’s decision on a presidential run.
“Well, I was governor long before Trump thought about running for president. I’ve been governor through three presidents now and I am focused on my job,” said Hogan. “I’ve got a really important job, I run a $50 billion a year operation with 60,000 employees. I’ve got six million customers in the people of Maryland and I work for them every day. I just don’t think anyone should be obsessing about (Trump) one way or another.”
CORRECTIONS: The event was organized by Girard, not by Girard and fellow State Senate Candidate Keith Murphy as originally posted. Murphy is the owner of Murphy’s Tavern and in attendance at the event.
Also, D’Allesandro is a 12-term incumbent, not 11-term incumbent.