Anne Arundel County businessman Larry Hogan. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan on Wednesday said it was an affront to free speech for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the Washington Redskins trademark registration.

In announcing the decision, the Trademark Office said the team name was “disparaging to Native Americans.” The case was filed on behalf of five Native Americans.

“Whether you’re a fan of the Redskins, the Ravens or, God forbid, the Cowboys, today’s unprecedented action . . . should offend anyone concerned about constitutional limits on government power and free speech,” Hogan said in a statement issued by his campaign. “This matter should be decided by the Redskins and their fans without the politically motivated interference of pandering state and federal politicians.”

Hogan, an Anne Arundel County businessman who has been leading his GOP rivals in recent polls, faces three other candidates in Tuesday’s primary: Harford County Executive David R. Craig, Del. Ronald A. George (Anne Arundel) and Charles County businessman Charles Lollar.

Aides noted that Hogan is a native of Landover, where the Redskins play their home games at FedEx Field.

Hogan served as a Cabinet secretary in the Ehrlich administration and founded Change Maryland, a group that has been critical of the priorities of the administration of Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).