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WJZ sits down with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan just over a month before leaving office

WJZ sits down with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan just over a month before leaving office
WJZ sits down with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan just over a month before leaving office 03:38

BALTIMORE - Governor Larry Hogan stands in a club of only two Republicans who've won re-election in Maryland's history.

With a little more than 40 days before the term-limited governor leaves office, he sat down for a one-on-one interview with WJZ's Ava-joye Burnett.

The governor discussed his contentious relationship with Baltimore City leaders, his very public battle with cancer, and the continuation of his family's political legacy after his daughter, Jaymi Sterling, won the election to become Saint Mary's County's next state's attorney.

UNCUT: WJZ Ava-joye Burnett talks with Gov. Hogan about eight years in office, future 21:46

As a Republican in a blue state, Gov, Hogan took pride in riding what he called "A Purple Wave."

Ava-joye: In the state's more than 240-year history, you're only the second Republican to win re-election. In a deep blue state, what do you think that was all about?"

Gov. Hogan: People say to me, they're lifelong Democrats who crossed over and supported me and they say, "we really appreciate the fact that you just tell it like it is, that you're real, that you're authentic."

Ava-joye: Any leader that we speak to in this era will say one of their most challenging periods was the COVID-19 pandemic. For you, was there a particular time when you noticed this just isn't going to be an extended snow day?

Gov. Hogan: Well, there were a number of moments where that sort of hit. It wasn't just one time when we thought that. We were watching it early on. We knew it was going to be coming, and when it did, it was going to be rapidly escalating from there."

Ava-joye: You had support here in Maryland, but then, that also put you directly at odds with the leader of the Republican Party, President Trump, and some people started calling you "locked down Larry." How did that make you feel?

Gov. Hogan: Well, you never liked to be the target of criticism, but I didn't care one bit about any of that. I was more focused on saving people's lives. And you know, my most important responsibility was keeping the people in Maryland safe. That's how I see my role as governor.

Ava-joye: Let's switch to Baltimore City. In the entirety of your tenure, Baltimore City has had more than 300 homicides every year. Is there anything that you think you could have personally done to help with this problem?

Gov. Hogan: I think we did every single thing we could to help with the problem for eight years. We put $1.5 billion of state money into Baltimore City on just public safety. And, you know, I sat down with four different mayors and five police commissioners. We gave them almost every single thing that they asked for. We provided tremendous support to all five state police agencies. We pulled together federal law enforcement with local law enforcement, but you can't replace leadership in the city. You know, I wasn't the mayor of the City and I wasn't the police commissioner.

Ava-joye: A month ago, right beneath us, we saw you walk down the steps with Wes Moore. You were visibly excited.

Gov. Hogan: It feels pretty good. I think it was a great moment. I really enjoyed spending time with Wes Moore. I wish them well and I told them, we're going to try to provide all the help we could possibly give them in the transition and afterward.

Ava-joye: Who do you have on your team who's looking into the possibility of you running for president?

Gov. Hogan: You know, a lot of people keep asking me about that, and the honest answer is I really don't know what the future holds for me. I've said, and I really mean, that I'm going to finish this job and I still have 40 some days left and I know everybody thinks I'm done but I have to work till January 18.

Ava-joye: I want to talk to you about your daughter Jaymi. That was a big win for you all on election night as well.

Gov. Hogan: Well, I'm really proud of her. She's a smart lawyer and she loves being a prosecutor and she had the courage to step up and run. She actually, you know, beat a 22-year incumbent by 40 points, which is a pretty big deal as the biggest winner of its kind in the state.

Ava-joye: I want to talk to you about the First Lady. She is a world-renowned artist. The Art Gallery of BWI will now be dedicated to her.

Gov. Hogan: Well, I'm very proud of my wife, as well, and to her, if you've asked her, she doesn't really think of herself, as she says, she's not in politics. She doesn't really even talk about being First Lady of the state. She says I'm an artist and art teacher. If you ask her who is she, that's who she says.

Ava-joye: Governor, I wonder as you reflect, what is your proudest moment?

Gov. Hogan: Well, I'm proud that we were able to finish the job, and that people still think I did a pretty good job as governor. So, the whole eight years, a single day good or bad, I'm really honored to have the opportunity to have the job.

Ava-joye: And what was the hardest moment?

Gov. Hogan: The hardest moment, there were a couple of tough ones. One was when the riots broke out in Baltimore. One was I got diagnosed with cancer and had to go tell my family on Father's Day that could be my last Father's Day. Those were pretty tough ones.

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