Maryland Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan is seeking to distance himself from a member of his party running for the Anne Arundel County Council who has ties to a group that advocates for Southern states to secede from the nation.
In an interview Friday, Hogan spokesman Adam Dubitsky said that Hogan “absolutely disavows” the candidacy of Michael Peroutka, who won the GOP primary last month in Anne Arundel’s council District 5 by 38 votes.
“Those views have never been a part of the Republican Party, and they never will be,” Dubitsky said.
Peroutka, a lawyer, is a member of the League of the South, a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a “neo-Confederate” hate group because of its support for secession and its views on race.
Peroutka is also co-founder of a local group known as the Institute on the Constitution. In a posting last month on the institute’s Web site, Peroutka questioned whether the Maryland General Assembly is still “a valid legislative body,” citing recent votes to “redefine marriage,” restrict gun rights and mandate that “little girls must share bathrooms with older men who are ‘gender confused.’”
Hogan’s stance was announced after the campaign of his Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, called on him to disassociate himself from Peroutka.
“It’s surprising that Maryland Republicans would nominate a candidate who’s a member of a hate group with such disturbing racial and secessionist positions, but we call on Larry Hogan to do the sensible thing,” Brown campaign manager Justin Schall said in a statement Thursday night. “These outdated and offensive positions have no place in Maryland.”
Hogan, an Anne Arundel County businessman, faces Brown in the November general election.