Leadership of the state changed hands this week and only time will tell if it’s a good thing for Marylanders, most specifically Eastern Shore residents.
In reflecting on the tenure of two-term Gov. Larry Hogan, there’s a lot to boast about. Hogan did so this week in his farewell address. The first two-term Republican since Gov. Theodore McKeldin (1951-1959), Hogan governed Maryland well through the pandemic. Weekly press conferences kept Marylanders informed on the state’s metrics as well as health safety changes being made on public space usage and mask wearing.
Leaders often measure themselves by comparing the present to the past. In Maryland’s case, Hogan should feel confident and proud about his two terms, as Maryland is surely in a better place today than it was eight years ago. Tax reductions, fee eliminations and funding support for education, public safety, health care and the environment are among the highlights.
What separated Hogan, however, was not his specific policy initiatives. It was his ability to work with Republicans and Democrats to impact his version of change. He had finesse when he needed it while providing a steady hand of strength and resolve to provide bipartisan leadership. Additionally, Hogan was a visible and involved governor on the Eastern Shore, guiding to passage local project funding initiatives, speaking at numerous regional events, improving relations between the state and local counties and immersing himself in several specific elections (notably then-Delegate Mary Beth Carozza’s campaign to unseat Democratic Senator Jim Mathias in 2018).
For Wes Moore, a political novice like Hogan when he came into office, there’s much to learn from Hogan. It’s clear his policies will be different as Moore is a Democrat and Hogan a Republican. We hope Moore has watched and learned from Hogan though, as governing from a moderate position should be the goal. It’s the sauce that unites and builds collaboration toward a mutual goal.
Hogan reached across the aisle time and time again with much success, earning him respect from both extremes representing Marylanders in Annapolis. He left office this week with an overall job approval rating of 77%, according to a poll by Gonzalez Research & Media Services. It was a job well done by Hogan and his administration during his eight years. The leadership has been handed off to Moore, and we hope he governs with a perspective of what worked for Hogan and what has not been successful for other governors in the past.