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Giant, mobile billboard challenges Hogan to take position on Trump

Democratic Congressman John Delaney sent a mobile billboard to circle the Maryland State House Wednesday and needle Republican Gov. Larry Hogan about whether the governor will support Donald Trump if he wins the Republican nomination for president. (Erin Cox/The Baltimore Sun)

A mobile billboard rolled into Annapolis Wednesday with a challenge for Gov. Larry Hogan: "Will you support Trump as the Republican nominee?"

The opposite side proclaims "silence is an endorsement" of brash billionaire Donald Trump, who increasingly appears likely to become be his party's nominee for president.

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The billboard also bears a quote from Congressman John Delaney, a Democrat widely believed to have an eye on Hogan's job, who paid for and dispatched the rolling political jab to the State House.

"Because everyone in Maryland will lose if Trump wins," Delaney says on the billboard.

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In a statement, Delaney said the billboard would circle the State House all day Wednesday "and if the Governor won't provide a simple yes or no answer, it will come back tomorrow"

Delaney has been pressing the Republican governor to take a position on Trump's presidential candidacy. Hogan has side-stepped the question when pressed by reporters, saying that he isn't focused on presidential politics.

Delaney, a financier from Potomac whose district covers Western Maryland, paid for the billboard out of his congressional campaign account, aides said.

"Electing Donald Trump would be a disaster for the country and for the people in my district," Delaney said in a statement to The Baltimore Sun. "Now that he is the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination, Governor Hogan needs to take a position. It's been 19 days and the Governor still won't answer a simple yes or no question.  "

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Hogan's spokesman Matthew A. Clark admonished Delaney for bringing Capitol Hill's partisan sniping to Annapolis' State Circle.

"No one in Maryland wants to see to the discourse in our state devolve into the chaos and partisanship that has become commonplace among professional politicians in Washington," Clark said in a statement.

"With all of the problems we are facing as a state and as a country, you'd think he'd have better ways to spend his time."

The billboard also gives a website, standup2trump.com, were people can sign a petition urging Hogan to take a position against the Republican front-runner.

Delaney's spokesman Justin Schall said that Trump's "hatred and bigotry" were one of the biggest problems facing the country, adding "the governor was "playing politics in stead of leading. He should lead. It will take less than five minutes to answer this simple question."

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