Chris Van Hollen (D), one of Maryland’s U.S. Senators, is up for re-election this year. The Republicans would love to defeat Van Hollen and pick up that seat. This is part of the bigger picture: they want to pick up one seat, net, so they will once again be in control of the Senate come next January. There had been some hope that Maryland would contribute to that net gain of one. Indeed, the Governor of the state, Larry Hogan, is both a Republican and a popular figure. Party leadership had hoped he would take Van Hollen on.
Van Hollen is a fairly standard center-left Democrat. He supports, for example, increasing the minimum wage, tightening gun control laws, preserving and expanding Obamacare, and taxing the wealthy at higher rates.
Thing to Know:
When Hogan announced that he will not run for Senate, he said that he has already spoken to Sen. Van Hollen, to assure Van Hollen that he “can rest easy and get a good night’s sleep tonight.”
The Republicans will surely put up somebody else to try to mar Hogan’s sleep. But in the meanwhile … a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said that Hogan’s decision is part of “a series of humiliating recruitment failures” Republican leaders have encountered “because their potential candidates know they cannot defeat strong Senate Democrats.”