Hogan & Rosendale for Senate;
Montana Rep. Gallagher to Retire;
Final Nevada Primary, Caucus Results

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Feb. 12, 2024

Candidate announcements and a surprise retirement made Friday a very interesting political day even outside of the presidential-level happenings.


Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R)

Candidate Filing Closed — Maryland 2024 candidate filing closed on Friday and, after saying he would not run for Senate, former two-term Gov. Larry Hogan (R) unexpectedly agreed to seek the GOP nomination. Despite leaving office with the highest approval rating of any Maryland governor after eight years, Hogan will still be in an underdog position for the general election in heavily Democratic Maryland during a presidential year.

The Democratic nominee will be either US Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) or Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. The May 14 primary will likely produce a close result. Trone, the founder of the Total Beverage chain store, has already spent $23 million on his Senate campaign through the end of 2023, all but $427,000 from his own pocket.

Knowing that she cannot match his virtually unlimited personal war chest, Alsobrooks had raised just over $5 million for her campaign, and had more than $3 million in her campaign treasury at the end of 2023. She will obviously stockpile as much money as she can for the final month in hopes of coming close to parity with Trone in late campaign advertising.

The latest released internal polling from the Trone campaign (Hickman Analytics; Jan. 18-24; 1,500 likely Maryland Democratic primary voters) finds the congressman leading Alsobrooks 45-34 percent. The poll shows his ads are working, since Hickman’s November survey (Nov. 27-30; 1,000 likely Maryland Democratic primary voters) staked Trone to a 41-34 percent advantage.

Considering her support within the African American community and its strength in the Democratic primary, particularly in her home county of Prince George’s and Baltimore, this primary campaign is far from over regardless of Trone’s insurmountable financial edge.

For Hogan, despite winning two terms as governor, his task to win a federal election in Maryland is daunting. The last Republican to win a Senate race here was then-two term incumbent Charles Mathias back in 1980.

Hogan, an avowed “Never Trumper,” has clearly distanced himself from the former president, but that will be of only marginal assistance. Donald Trump is extremely unpopular in Maryland, and Hogan will be forced to share a ballot with him in November. Therefore, Trump as the Republican presidential nominee will negatively affect the GOP general election turnout model.

Though Hogan will run a competitive race and certainly do better than any Republican at least since Michael Steele pulled to within the 54-44 percent margin that first elected current Sen.Ben Cardin (D) in 2006, the eventual Democratic nominee must still be rated as the favorite to win in November.


Rosendale to Run — In a move that has been anticipated for well over a year, US Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) announced on Friday that he will run for the Senate later this year.

Immediately after the announcement, former President Donald Trump endorsed Rosendale’s Republican primary opponent, aerospace company CEO and retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, as have Gov. Greg Gianforte (R), Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), and Montana US Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Whitefish). In 2018, Rep. Rosendale, then the state auditor, challenged Sen. Jon Tester (D) and lost 50-47 percent.

Campaigning for a different office is nothing new for Rosendale. Since 2010, he has run for state House of Representatives, state Senate, US House (at-large), state auditor, US Senate, US House (at-large), and US House (District 2), and won five of the seven campaigns. His move into the Senate race opens the 2nd District to what will be a crowded Republican primary.

It’s been a strange road for Rosendale leading to his Senate announcement. Though he is showing just under $1.7 million in his campaign account, reports suggest that he raised only $98,000 in Q4 of 2023 and has not been actively campaigning. In contrast, Sheehy recorded $5.3 million for the campaign receipts and has already been advertising. Of his raised dollar total, $950,000 came as a loan from the candidate.

The 2024 Montana Senate race will be one of the country’s premier electoral contests as Sen. Tester again tries to defy the political odds by winning another Senate term in an even more heavily leaning Republican state than he has ever before faced.


Rep. Gallagher Out — In a move no one expected, four-term GOP Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) announced that he will not run for a fifth term later this year. Rep. Gallagher says he will take a position in the private sector and spend more time with his family. He was considered a potential 2024 US Senate candidate, and certainly so for 2028 when Sen. Ron Johnson (R) is expected to retire.

Rep. Gallagher is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He leaves the 2024 congressional race with over $4 million in his campaign account.

WI-8, which covers Wisconsin’s northeast corner and anchored in Green Bay/Appleton, is safely Republican. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat R+20. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the seat as the 80th most vulnerable district in the Republican Conference.

Excluding the NY-3 seat that will be filled tomorrow, 48 House seats will be open headed to the next vote. A total of 24 Democratic members and 23 Republicans are not seeking re-election. The Alabama redistricting plan created a new open 2nd District in that state.


Final Primary/Caucus Results In — The Nevada results are now final, and both President Biden and former President Trump, as we know, were landslide winners. For the Democrats, President Biden’s total vote percentage was 89.4, with a turnout of 126,421 voters. On the Republican side, former President Trump captured 99.1 percent of the Republican caucus vote, and the combined GOP primary and caucus participation factor of 136,687 individuals. Of note, it was legal for voters to cast a ballot in both the Republican primary and caucus even though the candidates could only be on one ballot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *