Republican Gov. Larry Hogan Wins Re-election In Democratic-Leaning Maryland

Hogan defeated Democrat Ben Jealous, former president of the NAACP.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican who has made a point of distancing himself from President Donald Trump, won a second term on Tuesday.

He beat Democrat Ben Jealous, the former president of the NAACP who is biracial.

Hogan has maintained strong approval ratings since he was first elected in 2014 in a state Democrat Hillary Clinton carried in the 2016 presidential race with 60 percent of the vote. Hogan, 62, did not endorse Trump and has said he did not vote for him.

The governor is widely seen as a pragmatic politician, one who at times has sided with Democrats on issues and has stressed the importance of working across party lines.

The 45-year-old Jealous, who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the battle for the ’16 Democratic presidential nomination, ran on a progressive platform that included calls for free in-state college tuition and Medicare-for-all.

Hogan in October came under attack after his campaign posted a video on Twitter that mocked Jealous for misspeaking, including saying at times that he was running for president, not governor. Jealous has a speech impediment that sometimes causes him to stutter.

“I need to draw a line. He’s gone beyond the pale and he needs to stop,” Jealous said of the video. “These ads are bullying. While I can take it, it encourages the bullying of young people, and that’s not OK.”

Just a few months into his first term, Hogan announced that he was suffering from cancer. He underwent chemotherapy, and in late 2016 said he was cancer free.

Hogan critics have voiced concern that he could become more conservative in his second term, The Washington Post reported. In 2015, he proposed cutting Medicaid costs by getting rid of free prenatal care for more than a thousand low-income pregnant women. He did not, however, follow through on that proposal.

“Am I going to transform into a different person? No,” Hogan told the Post. “Why would I change? I mean, look, people seem to be happy, right?”