WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said on Sunday he will not seek the 2024 Republican U.S. presidential nomination, aiming to avoid inadvertently boosting Donald Trump's chances by creating a "multicar pileup" crowded field of candidates beneficial to the former president's candidacy.
Hogan, who served eight years as Maryland governor ending in January, is considered a moderate in a party that has moved rightward.
Trump won his party's 2016 nomination after facing off against 16 other Republican candidates. In that large field, various candidates split the anti-Trump vote in the state-by-state battle for the nomination, allowing him to prevail in a battle of attrition. Trump went on to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton, but lost his 2020 re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden, who is expected to run again in 2024.
"To once again be a successful governing party, we must move on from Mr. Trump," Hogan wrote in a New York Times opinion piece published on Sunday. "The stakes are too high for me to risk being part of another multicar pileup that could potentially help Mr. Trump recapture the nomination."
Trump announced his 2024 candidacy in November. He has one major opponent announced for the Republican nomination - former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley - though activist investor Vivek Ramaswamy also has entered the race.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are among those considering challenging Trump for the nomination.
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Will Dunham)