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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan says he will not run for Senate

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday officially put to rest speculation about whether he will be running for the U.S. Senate, saying that he has no interest in the job.

"I will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate," Hogan said at a press conference. "I don't aspire to be a United States Senator and that fact has not changed."

Some national Republicans were holding out hope that Hogan, a popular Republican governor in a blue state, could give the GOP a chance to pick up a seat that Democrats are otherwise expected to hold in the midterm elections.

Hogan said he spoke with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, other Senate Republicans and incumbent Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen "to let him know that he can rest easy and get a good night's sleep tonight." Hogan told reporters that he believes he would have won the race if he entered, but didn't have the desire to serve as a Senator. 

Maryland Gov. Hogan Provides Covid-19 Updates
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan holds a news conference on the state's Covid-19 situation, at the Maryland State Capitol on August 5, 2021 in Annapolis, Maryland.  Drew Angerer / Getty Images

"Just because you can win a race doesn't mean that's the job you should do if your heart's not in it," Hogan said. 

Hogan is term-limited as governor and he said Tuesday that he will serve out the rest of his term until 2023. He has backed Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz to replace him, while former President Donald Trump has backed State Delegate Dan Cox. 

"I really want to focus the next 11 to 12 months on finishing this job," he said. "I'll have plenty of time to think about what the future holds. I think the world is going to be a different place a year from now."

He had told CBS News in late January that he had not expressed "any interest whatsoever" in running for the Senate.

"I've said that every time they've asked for, you know, more than a year now, but that hasn't stopped them from continuing to push and ask. And look, I do care about the country very deeply. I care about the problems in Washington. I do want to be a voice of reason. It's a -- big difference going from running a state to being one of 100 people who argue all day and don't seem to get much done," Hogan said.

Hogan didn't deny he is contemplating a 2024 GOP presidential bid -- a campaign that would put him in Trump's crosshairs, with whom he's publicly disagreed on several subjects, drawing the ire of the former president, who is backing a different candidate than the governor in this year's race to succeed Hogan.

"We have plenty of time to figure out what happens after" he steps down as governor in January 2023, he told CBS.

On Tuesday, Hogan told reporters that he will not make his decision to run for president based on whether or not Trump decides to run for the White House again.

"It would be based on whether I think that I can make a difference and whether it's the right decision for me and my family," Hogan said. "I wouldn't care whether the former president runs or not."

Hogan is the second moderate GOP governor to pass on a Senate bid for 2022. In November, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu decided to seek reelection rather than running for the Senate, citing a lack of desire to go to the Senate after making decisions daily as a governor that "really impact people's lives."

"You don't get to do any of that in the Senate," Sununu said. "You debate and talk. Nothing gets done. And as I said, sometimes that's considered a win, doing nothing. That's not the world I live in."

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