Governor Larry Hogan easily won re-election Tuesday, the first Republican governor to do so since Theodore McKeldin in 1954.
As the polls predicted, Hogan won a blow-out victory, besting Democrat Ben Jealous by 16 points.
He took the stage at his victory party at the Westin Hotel in Annapolis in a room packed with more than a thousand family members, friends and supporters, jubilant that he had won again in a state with a two-to-one Democratic edge in voter registration.
“In this deep blue state, in this blue year, with a blue wave, it turns out I can surf and we had a purple surf board,” he exulted.
He acknowledged he could not have achieved the victory without the help of Democrats who crossed over party lines to vote for him.
“And to all those democrats and independents who crossed over and cast their votes for me — I see some of them out there tonight — let me assure you that I will continue to be a governor for all Marylanders,” he said.
Jealous and his running mate, Susie Turnbull, appeared together at the Hippodrome in Baltimore to thank supporters “for believing in” a future of progressive values.
He was proud, he said, that his campaign did not take money from Super PACs or corporations.
“The pundits will talk about how we could have made history tonight,” he said. “But we already have, by proving you can win the Democratic nomination for Governor in Maryland without taking a dime from a corporation.”
Jealous raised the majority of his funds from out of state, though it wasn’t nearly enough to match Hogan, who outraised him by three to one.
At the end of October, Hogan’s campaign had millions and Jealous had barely $300,000.
Besides having a larger bank roll, Hogan also had several Maryland Democrats, including Nathan Landow, the former state Democratic Party chair, endorse him.
In a letter to the editor of The Sun, Landow praised Hogan for working with “the Democrat-led General Assembly.”
In his speech, Jealous said he told Hogan in his concession call that he would work with him on common goals and urged the governor to “find something we can agree on.”
And he urged his supporters, many of whom had tears in their eyes, to press on.
“We the educators, the nurses, we the working people of Maryland – we came into this room together movement builders and we leave movement builders,” he said. “Let’s go build the movement that lets the future of Maryland come faster.”