Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said emphatically Wednesday that he does not plan to vote for Donald Trump, his party’s presumptive — and divisive — presidential nominee.
Although the first-term governor has repeatedly said he does not support Trump, he had never before stated whether he would vote for him in the general election.
During a visit to Prince George’s County on Wednesday, Hogan answered the question directly.
“No, I don’t plan to,” Hogan said 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.”
Hogan was elected in 2014 with support from Democrats and independents. He is extremely popular across party lines in Maryland, where Republicans backed Trump in the April presidential primary by large margins.
The governor last year endorsed GOP contender Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey and a close friend. After Christie left the race and endorsed Trump, Hogan pronounced himself “disgusted with national politics” and said he would not pick another candidate to publicly support.
For months afterward, Hogan has deflected questions about Trump and his candidacy. He has said he does not plan to attend the Republican National Convention this summer, and last week he declined to say whether he thinks Trump is fit to be president.
On Wednesday, Hogan said he is “not pleased with the candidates in either party. . . . I don’t think either party has put up its best candidate.”
The Maryland Democratic party quickly issued a statement saying Hogan should go beyond not voting for Trump and openly denounce his controversial rhetoric, including a call to ban most Muslims from entering the United States and remarks that implied President Obama “is on the side of terrorists in the war against ISIL.”
“Marylanders deserve a governor who will speak out forcefully against Trump’s hate and bigotry,” the statement said.