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Gov. Larry Hogan (File)

Md. Democratic Party: Hogan’s Trump announcement doesn’t go far enough

It’s not enough.

That’s the reaction from state Democratic Party officials following Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement that he did not plan on voting for Donald Trump. Party leaders called on Hogan to repudiate Trump for comments he has made over the the last few weeks that have drawn criticism from Democrats and some Republicans for being racist or for suggesting that President Barack Obama was not tough enough on terrorism.

“Donald Trump today doubled down on his promise to ban Muslims from entering our country,” Maryland Democratic Party Executive Director Charles Conner said in a statement released Wednesday evening. “He even claimed President Obama is on the side of terrorists in the war against ISIL. And he failed a serious leadership test after the tragedy in Orlando. Trump proved yet again that he’s unfit to lead our nation. Not voting for Trump doesn’t go far enough. Marylanders deserve a governor who will speak out forcefully against Trump’s hate and bigotry.”

Hogan Wednesday broke from his self-imposed rule on not commenting on Trump and told the Washington Post that he didn’t plan on voting for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

“No, I don’t plan to,” Hogan told the paper at an event in Prince George’s County when asked whether he would cast a ballot for Trump. “I guess when I get behind the curtain I’ll have to figure it out. Maybe write someone in. I’m not sure.”

The comments come less than a week after Hogan told reporters he would no longer answer questions regarding Trump.

“Like I said, I’m not interested in talking about Donald Trump any further,” Hogan said on June 10. “If you want, they have this new thing called Google. If you Google it you can find five months of comments that are all the same. I get asked the same questions every day. My answers are not going to change so Google it. Look at the stories you’ve written. They’re all the same.”

Trump has found himself the subject of criticism from within the Republican Party, including officials who had endorsed him.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and former speaker Newt Gingrich, both Republicans who have endorsed Trump, have criticized their party’s presumptive nominee over his remarks about  U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

Curiel, an American of Mexican ancestry, is presiding over a fraud case in San Diego involving Trump University. Trump called for Curiel to recuse himself, saying he did not believe the judge could be impartial because of the real estate mogul’s comments about building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

In Maryland, Del. Kathy Szeliga, R-Baltimore and Harford Counties and a candidate for U.S. Senate, said Trump’s comments about Curiel were racist.

“Mr. Trump’s statement with regard to Judge Curiel is insulting to all Americans,” Szeliga said in a post on her campaign Facebook page. “My own daughter-in-law is of Mexican descent. To say that anyone’s ethnic background should disqualify them from public service of any kind – particularly a judge who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States – is, by definition, a racist statement.”

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