REPORT: Elaine Chao Meets With Larry Hogan’s Wife As Republicans Try To Convince Maryland Governor To Run For Senate

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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Elaine Chao, the wife of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, met with the wife of Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan this week as the Republican Party pushes Hogan to run for Senate in the state, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Chao, who served as Transportation Secretary under former President Donald Trump, has picked up where McConnell and other high-level Republicans have left off with Hogan. The popular Maryland governor has so far pushed back on the idea of running for Senate, despite multiple calls from McConnell, Florida Sen. Rick Scott and others, according to the AP.

“While I appreciate all the encouragement and outpouring of support in Maryland and across the country, my focus continues to be on leading Maryland through the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing our economic recovery and addressing rising violent crime,” Hogan said Monday to the AP. “As long as I have the honor to serve as governor, I’m going to give this job everything I’ve got.”

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – FEBRUARY 28: Secretary of the Department of Transportation Elaine Chao speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference 2020 (CPAC) hosted by the American Conservative Union on February 28, 2020 in National Harbor, MD. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden beat Trump by 32 points in Maryland in the 2020 election, giving Democrats solid confidence for 2022. Nevertheless, Hogan is polling higher than any second-term governor in recent history in Maryland. He currently enjoys a 68% approval rating, meaning he may be the only Republican in the country who stands a meaningful chance of unseating Democratic incumbent Chris Van Hollen.

Republicans are poised to make strong gains in Congress in the 2022 elections, with polls suggesting there is an incoming red wave. Midterm elections typically favor the party that is out of power, but Biden’s low-and-still-dropping approval rating is likely to compound the trend. (RELATED: Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath Moves Districts In Response To New Georgia State Map, Setting Up Brutal Primary Fight)

Democrats themselves are also sensing an impending victory for Republicans, with 26 of their representatives choosing to retire instead of running for reelection, compared to just 11 Republicans.