Sun Endorses Larry Hogan

Though frequently critical of Gov. Larry Hogan and supporters of Jealous in the primary, the Baltimore Sun has endorsed Hogan for reelection:

Mr. Hogan’s stewardship of state finances has been sound. He has neither made large new spending commitments nor attempted big tax cuts but has instead maintained a steady approach to the budget. This year, when it became clear that unintended side effects of the federal tax cuts would increase state income tax collections, he again worked cooperatively with the legislature to offer protection for lower-income Marylanders while banking much of the windfall to lay the groundwork for a major increase in education spending related to the expected findings of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education. His adoption of the Democrats’ proposal for a “lockbox” for casino revenue is another step along the same path.

That last point reflects something unusual about Mr. Hogan — his willingness to adopt (some would say, co-opt) ideas and policies first proffered by Democrats and claim credit for them. He has shown himself to be adept at jumping on politically popular bandwagons, whether that’s the fracking ban, the lockbox or free community college. It drives Annapolis Democrats nuts. They argue, not without some justification, that Mr. Hogan has no real agenda and is instead running on theirs. To which we would respond: How exactly is that going badly? We are accustomed in Maryland to governors who are the real drivers of policy, but what we have instead with Mr. Hogan is a governor who sometimes seeks to put the brakes on the legislature’s policy initiatives but otherwise focuses on the day-to-day business of running the state. Consequently, Mr. Hogan has offered little in the way of an agenda for his second term beyond offering more of the same.

The Sun joins the Washington Post and the Annapolis Capital in endorsing the Governor for reelection.