The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Madaleno lashes out at Hogan over campaign fundraising letter

Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery County). (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)

A Maryland state senator who plans to seek the Democratic gubernatorial nomination has accused Gov. Larry Hogan (R) of "demagoguing Maryland's immigrant residents" in a recent fundraising letter.

Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery County) said he was “deeply disappointed” that Hogan’s campaign would use “Trump tactics of dividing our communities and scapegoating immigrants” to solicit contributions for his reelection.

Hogan sent a letter late last month that largely touts his work on the budget, reducing fees and doing away with regulations. Toward the end, Hogan, who is seeking to become the first GOP governor elected to a second term in Maryland since the 1950s, writes that he is reaching out to "committed commonsense conservatives" to help him achieve that goal.

“You have the state’s most loyal activists and I could really use your help,” the letter reads. “Will you please do me the honor of joining my team to . . . help me push back against a far left agenda and the worst instincts of an increasingly liberal and out of touch state legislature?”

Read Hogan’s fundraising letter

The governor accuses Democrats, who control the state legislature, of "trying to make our state a safe haven for criminals here illegally." He then takes aim at the Trust Act, a bill that died this year in the Senate but would have limited police cooperation with federal immigration-enforcement efforts.

“The rule of law must come first and we will do whatever we can to stop any so-called ‘sanctuary bill’ that would limit how jails and police could assist federal authorities,” the letter reads.

A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll in March found that a majority of state residents do not believe increased local involvement in deportations would improve compliance with federal immigration laws.

In an interview, Madaleno said Hogan is “using the same page and language that Donald Trump did” in opposing “sanctuary” jurisdictions. “This is the real Larry Hogan,” he said.

Andrew Brightwell, a spokesman for Hogan’s campaign, declined to respond directly to Madaleno’s criticism, saying in a email that “the governor’s position opposing sanctuary cities and supporting the rule of law is well-established.”