Former Florida governor and GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush will be the featured guest speaker at Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s inauguration ceremony Wednesday.
Bush — like Hogan a moderate Republican who has sharply criticized President Trump — will introduce the governor after Hogan takes the oath of office inside the Senate chamber, becoming the first GOP governor to serve consecutive terms in Annapolis since 1959.
Former Montgomery County executive Isiah Leggett, a Democrat whom Hogan cultivated as an ally during his first term, is also scheduled to speak in the afternoon ceremony on the State House’s lawn.
Bush and Hogan, who have been hailed as leaders in the non-Trump wing of their party, also share a bond through their fathers, who served in Congress together in the late 1960s. Hogan attended former president George H.W. Bush’s funeral last month and has repeatedly talked about the similarities between the 41st president and his own father, Lawrence Hogan Sr., who died in 2017.
Hogan touted his close ties to Leggett during last year’s gubernatorial campaign, when he easily defeated former NAACP president Ben Jealous, the Democratic nominee.
Leggett, a longtime civil rights advocate who has been a mentor to other African American politicians, was slow to endorse Jealous, saying he was concerned that the Democrat’s policy proposals would hurt Montgomery County, the state’s most populous jurisdiction and one of its wealthiest.
He eventually endorsed Jealous but declared that he would not “campaign against” Hogan, saying he and the governor “are good friends.”
Jealous ended up winning the county by nearly 11 percentage points.
Also on the inaugural program will be Daniella Velez, the governor’s 6-year-old granddaughter, who will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
The day will begin with a private prayer service at St. Mary’s Church in Annapolis, followed by entertainment on the State House lawn by the 229th Army Band of the Maryland National Guard, the Cardinal Shehan School choir and the Barbara Ingram School of the Arts chamber choir.
The governor will be sworn in at noon. He will address the crowd on the grounds of the State House, then greet guests inside the building.
The day will end with an inaugural gala at MGM National Harbor in Prince George’s County, where Hogan grew up.