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Maryland GOP Gov. Hogan takes push to 'refund the police' to Virginia and beyond

Maryland GOP Governor Hogan takes push to 'refund the police' to Virginia and beyond

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EXCLUSIVERepublican governor Larry Hogan’s campaign to pump $150 million into Maryland’s law enforcement agencies and to victims of violent crime is front and center as the term-limited governor heads into his final year in office. 

But Hogan, who’s raised his national profile in recent years and whom some political pundits see as a possible 2024 GOP White House hopeful, is not confining his push to refund the police just to his home state.

Hogan headlined a fundraiser on Friday night in Fairfax County, Virginia, for Jason Miyares, that state’s GOP nominee for attorney general.

HOGAN, IN FOX NEWS OPINION PIECE, CALLS FOR ‘INCREASING FUNDING FOR POLICE, NOT DEFUNDING THEM’

“In today’s environment, when far too often our police officers are unfairly criticized and don’t get the appreciation or the respect that they deserve, these men and women need to know that they have the support of their leaders,” Hogan said in his address, which was shared first with Fox News. Jason Miyares will serve as the attorney general of Virginia, and that will make it safer for the law officers in Virginia.

This week the Hogan aligned advocacy group An America United is going up with a digital ad spotlighting Hogan’s message.

To reverse rising crime we must stop denigrating and sabotaging those who sacrifice their lives daily to protect us all. Instead, we’re going to refund the police,” Hogan emphasizes in the video.

After last year’s death of George Floyd, a Black man who died at the hands of a White police officer in Minneapolis, and the resulting nationwide protests over racial inequity, the issues of crime and defunding the police became a major topics in the 2020 presidential and congressional elections. Coverage of big-city crimes spikes, which began during the coronavirus outbreak last year, has risen both locally as well nationally in recent years.

Hogan made it clear that he was against calls to cut funding for the police force as far back as last summer. Fox News interviewed Hogan in July 2020 to discuss his opposition to the idea.

In his 2020 book, “Still Standing”, the governor also details his experiences with dealing with 2015 Baltimore riots following the death of Black man Freddie Gray. He was transported while in police custody.

Hogan was critical of Seattle’s and Portland’s actions last year to limit their police response to unrest. “And that was kind of a problem at Baltimore in 2015. We saw that the mayor of Baltimore said that she was willing to let protesters destroy her city, but not to stop them. It was then that I, as governor, decided to step in.

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Hogan was quoted in a Fox News opinion piece urging more funding for the police. Hogan suggested that police be able to more easily target violent criminals and make it harder for them to do so. Also, he called on Fox News to adopt reasonable reforms which will increase trust between the police and communities they serve.

“We can reverse the tide of rising crime, but we can’t do it if we’re attacking the men and women who are working to keep us safe,” he argued. 

Hogan unveiled in Maryland his initiative about tens and millions of dollars to support police and neighborhood safety grants. He also announced his Maryland plan a week earlier. Hogan described it as “a desperate shot in the arm for our state police agencies and local authorities.”

But the leaders in the Democratic-controlled state legislature blasted Hogan’s proposal, calling it “misguided” and “divisive rhetoric.”

The headlining of the Miyares fundraiser in Virginia wasn’t his first political stop outside his home state – he also campaigned last month for Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin, in Georgia for GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, who’s running for reelection next year, and he gave the keynote address in Florida at a conference hosted by Republican Main Street Partnership, a moderate GOP group.

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And it won’t be his last.

A Hogan political aide tells Fox News that the governor plans to continue travelling across the country, adding that refunding the police is  key area of his focus in Maryland and nationwide.

Tyler Olson from Fox News contributed to the report

FoxNews.com

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