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Candidate causes stir due to secessionist group

ANNAPOLIS — The executive director of the Maryland Republican Party says he has asked an Anne Arundel County Council candidate to consider severing ties to a group with secessionist positions.

Joe Cluster said he met with Michael Peroutka on Friday to ask him to consider disassociating himself with the group called the League of the South. Cluster says the issue has become a distraction in an election year.

Cluster says Peroutka told him he would think about it. A call to Peroutka’s campaign office was not immediately returned.

The meeting comes a day after the matter came up in the governor’s race.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown called on Republican Larry Hogan on Thursday to disassociate himself from Peroutka. Adam Dubitsky, Hogan’s spokesman, says Hogan “absolutely disavows” Peroutka.