The Washington Post

Md. GOP’s Hogan stays silent on Hobby Lobby case as groups press for a position

Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan, second from the right, awaits the start of a primary debate earlier this month. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Maryland Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan remained mum Wednesday on a U.S. Supreme Court decision affecting access to contraception as liberal interest groups sought to press him for a position.

In a letter to Hogan, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland said that “Maryland women have a right to know exactly where you stand” regarding the court’s ruling that family-owned businesses do not have to offer their employees contraceptive coverage that conflicts with the owners’ religious beliefs.

That letter followed a news release Tuesday from the Maryland Democratic Party accusing Hogan of being “another typical Republican politician” and suggesting he “stop avoiding tough issues.”

A Baltimore television station reported that Hogan had no comment on the decision on Monday, the day the court ruled on the case brought by Hobby Lobby, an arts-and-crafts chain that a co-founder has said is run on biblical principles.

Hogan spokesman Adam Dubitsky said Wednesday that Hogan, an Anne Arundel County businessman, does not think the court case is an issue in Maryland’s race for governor.

“We’re going to stay focused on turning around the economy and putting women and men back to work,” Dubitsky said.

Hogan’s Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, was quick to criticize the ruling this week, saying that “no one has the right to dictate personal health-care decisions to a woman, certainly not her employer.”

Hogan, who is competing in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 2-to-1, has sought to downplay several social issues. During the Republican primary, for example, he said during a radio interview that he would not seek to reverse the state’s law allowing same-sex marriages because he considers it a settled matter on which the voters had spoken.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.



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