Its Our Turn to Lift You Up, Governor!
“You’re an old guy!”
That’s what Larry Hogan jokingly said to me the first time I met him. We were talking at the Maryland Republican Party United event just after the 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election, in which Larry, a successful businessman and founder of Change Maryland, had just won the nomination to face off against the Democratic golden child, Anthony Brown.
Larry’s words to me came after I told him I won election on the Prince George’s County Republican Central Committee, and he inquired into how old I was. When I told him that I was 31, he informed me that he, too, had served on the Prince George’s County Central Committee, but was a lot younger than I was when he served.
That same morning, Larry and I had privately communicated and I told him I really looked forward to meeting him at the event. I decided to take my two older toddlers with me.
So, there I was, holding two toddlers in my arms, talking to the man who would end up being only the second republican in sixty years to win the Maryland Gubernatorial Election.
And for some reason, I also noticed a can of Diet Coke on the stage behind him, from which he diligently drank. Now, every time I see a picture of Governor Hogan, I always try to spot the Diet Coke!
The events of that day constituted my first personal experience with the down to earth personality and sincerity of Larry Hogan, traits that Marylanders across our State have grown to appreciate and admire from our new Governor.
Yumi Hogan was also so nice to my daughter that evening. Yumi now serves as our State’s First Lady with such grace and kindness, and the fact that she took the time to talk to my then 4 year old daughter still means the world to me.
As the election season went on, I became more and more excited at the message Larry was sharing across the Free State: Maryland had been taxed enough; An Anthony Brown administration would be a continuation of the failed O’Malley years; In short, his message was to “Change Maryland”.
Just before the General Election, I had an opportunity to walk alongside Larry Hogan and his diligent and able running mate, Boyd Rutherford. This time, the normal and down to earth personalities of these two guys were evident in abundance. Just a week or two before Election Day, here they were, going inside little shops and restaurants in a very tiny plaza area. I mean, literally, there were probably two businesses at that location. It was a Saturday afternoon and there was hardly anyone around. But they went to both places. I did not go inside with them, but waited outside with the small group of reporters that accompanied the Republican Gubernatorial Ticket.
I imagine that they spoke to both the business owners as well as the customers that day. With just a short time before Election Day, they could have spent that time doing other things. But they didn’t. Larry and Boyd focused their campaign on real people.
Just a few days later, Larry Hogan would be in Annapolis giving his victory speech, with his family at his side, including his dad, who was beaming with pride. Larry pulled an upset win over Anthony Brown. We exchanged a thumbs-up while he was at the podium. I brought my father with me that night, and I was proud to share that moment with him.
Since Governor Hogan took office, he has literally rallied and inspired Maryland and performed miracles. Not only has Governor Hogan kept his word on challenging the status quo politicians in Annapolis on tax issues, but he managed to get through the tough, incapable political machine of Baltimore to awaken and unite the City to turn it around after the tragic and chaotic riots.
During his first legislative session, Governor Hogan won the trust and confidence of many individuals, on all different political spectrums. Marylanders were tired of the same old politician talk and countless empty campaign promises from previous leaders.
In Larry Hogan, Marylanders finally found someone who practices what he preaches.
Governor Hogan has worked tirelessly for Maryland. In just a short time, he has managed to accomplish more for the good of the State than the previous administration’s eight years.
This week, Governor Hogan announced that he has been diagnosed with a form of advanced cancer. As the news settled in, my feelings ranged from disbelief, to anger, and then to a deep sadness.
Cancer is a difficult disease that affects those of all ages and cultures. It affects the wealthy and the poor. It affects good people and bad people. It affects those on all sides of the political spectrum.
Odds are that those of you reading this have faced a form of cancer yourselves, or you’ve had a close friend or family member who has faced it.
Governor Hogan, if you are reading this, please know that we are rallying behind you. You’ve lifted Maryland up, and now it’s our turn to lift you. While many of us may not see you every day or work closely with you, we will do whatever we can to help you and Lt. Governor Rutherford, even if all we can do is pray.
My wife and I join with countless other Marylanders, and those from across the Country, in saying that the entire Hogan family is in our thoughts and prayers.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. At no times has he spoken for, or in behalf of, the Prince George’s County Republican Central Committee.