ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Term-limited Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was holding fundraisers for future political activity Wednesday at events where the Republican is expected to talk about his eight years as governor, as well as plans for the future.
Hogan, who leaves office in January, has positioned himself to run as a legitimate alternative to former President Donald Trump, who already has announced he's running for president in 2024.
Hogan was holding two fundraisers at a hotel and casino about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the state capital. One will mark the launch of a political action committee called Better Path Forward, and the other is being held for Hogan's political organization, An America United, said David Weinman, who is the organization's executive director.
The events are expected to raise more than $1 million, Weinman said.
Before the fundraisers, Hogan was scheduled to attend a leadership summit in Annapolis to talk about the future of the country.
"For eight years, Governor Hogan has demonstrated how to lead and deliver commonsense conservative results in a deep-blue state, and we've seen overwhelming support in Maryland and across the country for building on this model of success," Weinman said. "We are excited to host these events to celebrate that success and look toward the future."
Hogan has said publicly he is focused on finishing his term as governor and that an official announcement about his plans would not happen until after he leaves office in mid-January. However, with a media availability scheduled Wednesday night at the casino, the event sounded similar to one Hogan held in November 2013, when he let supporters know that he planned to run for governor, even though he said at the time he did not plan to formally announce his candidacy for a couple of months.
Hogan, who has been a fierce critic of Trump, would be an underdog in a Republican primary. The Republican candidate Hogan endorsed for governor, Kelly Schulz, lost the GOP primary for governor in Maryland to Trump-endorsed Dan Cox. Cox, however, went on to lose by a large margin in November to Democrat Wes Moore.
Hogan has been a popular governor in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-to-1. He is only the second Republican governor to ever be reelected in Maryland.