Maryland Gov. Hogan endorses Loeffler and Perdue in high-stakes Georgia runoffs

Pro-Trump, moderate wings of GOP uniting on need for check on Biden presidency

Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan officially endorsed Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue of Georgia on Monday, an indication of the level of urgency in all corners of the Republican Party for a GOP-controlled Senate to check the Biden administration. 

Hogan's announcement in a Washington Examiner op-ed came as news broke that top aides to Donald Trump Jr. – son of President Trump, who Hogan considered running against in the GOP presidential primary – formed a super PAC to boost Trump voter turnout for the Georgia incumbents in their runoff elections. 

"This election will determine what the first two years of President-elect Biden’s administration will look like. And once you tune out the loudest voices, I believe the choice facing Georgians becomes clear," Hogan wrote. "Do we want a one-party monopoly in Washington, or do we want to send a message to our federal leaders that no one party has all the answers or all the power?"

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Hogan in the op-ed also warned that if Democrats control both houses of Congress they may pursue "two years of divisive, toxic battles over packing the Supreme Court, abolishing the Senate filibuster, and pushing the Green New Deal." He said a GOP Senate majority would "take these destructive proposals off the table[.]"

"Do we want to unleash the extremes of both political parties, or do we want to empower leaders in Washington to find bipartisan, common-sense solutions to the challenges we face?" Hogan asked. The governor called the Nov. 3 elections a "mandate for moderation." 

The Democrat challengers for Loeffler and Perdue are Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively. Hogan is just the latest of a bevy of high-profile Republicans, both closely-aligned with the president and not, to get involved in the Georgia Senate runoffs, which are scheduled for Jan. 5.

Florida Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott each campaigned for the Loeffler and Perdue earlier this month. So did Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., one of the senators most supportive of the president, and Vice President Mike Pence. 

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, one of the loudest voices in the GOP against President Trump, Monday announced his endorsement of Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, aligning him with the Trump wing of the Republican Party on at least one major issue. 

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, one of the loudest voices in the GOP against President Trump, Monday announced his endorsement of Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, aligning him with the Trump wing of the Republican Party on at least one major issue.  (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

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Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley have also made clear their support for Perdue and Loeffler. Even Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger – who has been the subject of fierce ire from Trump and calls to resign from Perdue and Loeffler – said he hopes the incumbents win. 

"As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate," Raffensperger said in a statement that also slammed the senators for calling on him to resign. "I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that."

Trump is due in Georgia on Dec. 5 to campaign for the two senators. 

On the Democrat side, former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and several others have gone to bat for Ossoff and Warnock. 

Incoming Biden chief of staff Ron Klain said on ABC's "This Week" that he expects Biden to campaign in Georgia for Ossoff and Warnock. And speculation has been rampant about a potential visit from former President Barack Obama as well. 

As the Senate currently stands, Republicans have secured 50 seats for the next Congress and Democrats control 48. If Republicans win even one of the Georgia Senate races they will secure a majority in the Senate and a significant say in the Biden administration's agenda on judicial and executive appointments, legislation and more. 

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If Democrats sweep both of the Senate races, however, they will gain a de facto majority as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be able to break tie votes. 

The stakes may not be as high as Hogan, other Republicans and even some Democrats are making them out to be, however. Even if Democrats get 50 seats, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., will be the most moderate member of the Democrats' caucus. He has said flatly that he will not support policies like the Green New Deal, court-packing or getting rid of the legislative filibuster. If the Democrats lose Manchin on any vote they will not have the numbers to win. 

Nevertheless, legislative items like a public option for health insurance added onto the Affordable Care Act and repealing the 2017 tax cuts are high on Biden's agenda, and presumably would be on a Democrat-controlled Senate's as well.