Hogan rips Trump 'collusion' with Dems in Maryland, mum on Cheney bid for Dem support in Wyoming

Anti-Trump Maryland Republican governor blamed Trump-backed conservative Dan Cox's win in the state's GOP gubernatorial primary on "unprecedented collusion between the Democratic Governors Association and Donald Trump."

Updated: July 27, 2022 - 11:13pm

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a vocal anti-Trump Republican, is decrying the role of out-of-state Democratic money in Trump-backed conservative Dan Cox's defeat of Hogan protege Kelly Schulz in the state's GOP gubernatorial primary last week — while remaining mum on anti-Trump GOP Rep. Liz Cheney's courting of Democratic donors and voters in her fading primary campaign against a conservative challenger in Wyoming.

Hogan, a popular two-term governor, announced over the weekend that he will not support Cox in the general election, deriding his party's nominee in an interview as a "QAnon whack job."

Following Cox's July 19 win over former Hogan administration Secretary of Commerce Schultz, the departing governor was quick to book appearances on the Sunday shows. Cox won due to "kind of unprecedented collusion between the Democratic Governors Association and Donald Trump," Hogan alleged on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

The DGA spent close to $1.2 million on ads promoting Cox's gubernatorial bid on the assumption that the first-term assemblyman who organized buses to the Jan. 6, 2021 "Stop the Steal" rally will be an easier candidate to defeat in blue Maryland come the November election.

In Wyoming, meanwhile, GOP Rep. Liz Cheney — a leading anti-Trump Republican as vice chair of House Democrats' Jan. 6 committee — is facing an increasingly uphill battle for reelection against Trump-backed opponent Harriet Hageman. Though Hageman holds at least a 20-point lead over Cheney, the latter has raised $10 million compared to only $3 million raised by her challenger.

The Cheney campaign is relying heavily on funds from a mix of high-profile anti-Trump Republicans — including a PAC run by former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton and former President George W. Bush — and high-profile Democratic donors like John Pritzker, a member of the Pritzker entrepreneurial and philanthropic dynasty; angel investor Ron Conway, a longtime Democratic donor; and former Pixar executive Jeffrey Katzenberg.

A whopping 97% of Cheney's donations have come from states other than the one she is vying to represent. It is unclear if the out-of-state millions flooding into Cheney's campaign coffers will be enough to save her in a state that voted for Donald Trump by a margin of 43 points in the 2020 presidential race.

Despite saying earlier this year that she would not ask Democrats to vote for her in the primary, Cheney’s campaign recently sent mailers to registered Democrats with instructions enclosed on how to swap parties ahead of the state's Aug. 16 primary in order to vote for her. Wyoming is a state in which Republicans outnumber Democrats by a margin of four-to-one, however, making Cheney's latest move a Hail Mary heave.

"Mr. Trump and national Democrats made the primary to succeed me an example of toxic politics," Hogan wrote in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

Hogan's office did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Just the News on whether he condemns Cheney's pursuit of Democratic money and votes in her effort to fend off her pro-Trump challenger in her Wyoming primary battle.

Cheney's newfound Democratic supporters "are people who, in any other situation, would be radically opposed to anyone named Cheney, but because they have a common enemy in Donald Trump, they are rushing to her aid," Hageman campaign adviser Tim Murtaugh told Just the News. 

"In the end, no amount of television ads will bridge the canyon between Liz Cheney and what Wyomingites expect from their only member of the House," added Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump 2020 campaign. "It's also a microcosm of Cheney's overall situation — in Congress, Democrats will discard her as soon as she's no longer useful, while Republicans want nothing to do with her. She's completely lost the ability to be effective for Wyoming, so it's appropriate that she will soon be replaced by Harriet Hageman, who will never forget who hired her for the job." 

"There's no question that we lost a battle, and we're losing a few battles," Hogan told Jake Tapper on CNN after Cox's win in Maryland "We have another couple of years before the next election ... There's going to be a long battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party. And this is just the beginning."

It is widely suspected that Hogan himself may attempt to lead the GOP's small pocket of anti-Trump voters in that battle against its dominant Trump majority as a candidate for the party's 2024 presidential nomination — a prospect Hogan is doing little discourage.