Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford and his wife, Monica Rutherford, address the crowd at the inaugural gala for Gov. Larry Hogan on Jan. 21 in Baltimore. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) vowed Monday to fight the “very aggressive” cancer with which he’s been diagnosed. If he’s not able to fill out his term as governor, however, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (R) would take over, under the state constitution.

The four-year term of Hogan, who took office in January, ends in early 2019.

The Maryland constitution states that “when a vacancy occurs in the office of Governor, the Lieutenant Governor shall succeed to that office for the remainder of the term.”

The constitution also allows for the lieutenant governor to serve as acting governor “when notified in writing by the Governor that the Governor will be temporarily unable to perform the duties of his office.”

If Rutherford were to become governor, he would nominate a new lieutenant governor, whose confirmation would require a majority vote of a joint session of the General Assembly.

In a news conference Monday afternoon, Hogan said he would soon begin aggressive chemotherapy treatments, and would rely on Rutherford to fill in for him on state business as needed. Hogan described the cancer as advanced non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and he said it had spread through his abdomen and was “pressing up against my spinal column.”