ANNAPOLIS — Decrying the partisan rancor that divides Washington and the nation, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr. (R) was inaugurated to a second term as Governor of Maryland Wednesday.
Hogan spoke about politics in Annapolis serving as model for good governance — the passion of debate without bitter and personal partisan attacks — saying government officials in the state capital can put differences aside to do what is best for the people.
Hogan, a popular Republican governor in a deeply blue state, called for political moderation and civility, saying that he will continue to use bipartisanship as a staple of his governance.
“I pledged to govern with civility and moderation, to avoid attempts to drive us to the extremes of either political party, and to uphold the virtues that are the basis of Maryland’s history as a state of middle temperament,” Hogan said in his inaugural address.
Hogan was inaugurated, as the longest federal government shutdown in history continues, and he was not the only one to make note of how well government functioned within the state, with bipartisan cooperation on most issues.
For Hogan and Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford, the message was clear — cooperation and good governance is what they seek to bring over the next four years. The inauguration festivities were marked with a singing of the National Anthem by the U.S. Naval Academy’s Combined Men’s and Women’s Glee Club, the invocation by William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, and a flyover by the Maryland Air National Guard.
Mary Ellen Barbera, chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, administered the oath of office for both Hogan and Rutherford.
Hogan was not the only one to directly contrast the state’s politics to the divide in Washington. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) introduced Hogan, saying that he and his leadership style serve as a model for the nation in contrast to the partisan divide in Washington.
“Larry is at the top of the list of leaders that I admire today, because what’s happening here in Annapolis is the antithesis of what’s happening in Washington, D.C. ,these days,” Bush said. “Washington is not just our nation’s capital; it’s also the capital of gridlock and dysfunction.”
Hogan mentioned three leaders he looks to as examples of leadership: President George H.W. Bush, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his father, Lawrence Hogan, Sr., who served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1969 to 1975.
Hogan, whose father died last year, said he admired his dad’s political courage. He said that as a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate Scandal, his father become one of the first Republicans to call for President Richard Nixon’s impeachment, which ended up costing him politically, Hogan said.
“The decision cost him dearly,” Hogan said of his father’s decision to come out against Nixon. “He lost friends and supporters and his party’s nomination for governor that year. But it earned him something more valuable: a quiet conscience and an honored place in history. I learned a lot about integrity and public service from my dad. I miss him a lot, especially today.”
In November, Hogan was elected to his second term as governor, becoming only the second Republican governor to be elected to a second term, and the first to do so since Theodore McKeldin, who served as the state’s governor from 1951 to 1959.
Hogan was first elected in 2014, defeating Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown on a message of making the state friendlier to business.
Continuing with the bipartisan theme of the inauguration, former Montgomery County Executive and Democrat Ike Leggett gave the welcome address. Leggett, who just left office in December after serving three terms, credited Hogan for being a governor who has sought the support and guidance of local leaders such as himself.
While Leggett endorsed Hogan’s Democratic opponent in 2018, Ben Jealous, it did not harm Leggett and Hogan’s relationship, he said. Leggett was at first reluctant to endorse Jealous after he became the Democratic nominee, and only did so after he got assurances about Jealous’s tax policy and its potential effect on Montgomery County. Even after endorsing Hogan, Leggett would not criticize Hogan and still appeared with him at public events in the County.
Leggett specifically mentioned Hogan’s support for the light rail Purple Line, which will connect Metro stops in Montgomery County to one in Prince George’s County and funding for Metro, and for keeping hotel chain Marriott International’s headquarters in Bethesda.
“The voters throughout this state are positively reaffirming their trust in your leadership,” Leggett said. “They’re also saying that they believe in your willingness to continue to work across party lines — and more importantly — they trust that you, along with members of the General Assembly, will put aside party differences as you address the multitude of important issues impacting the lives of Marylanders in every corner of this great state.”