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Kamenetz, Van Hollen call on Hogan to take position on Trump

Towson, Md--9/16/15--Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz holds a press conference with schools Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance to respond to Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot, who criticized Baltimore County for having many public schools without air conditioning. Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun. 1432.
Towson, Md--9/16/15--Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz holds a press conference with schools Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance to respond to Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot, who criticized Baltimore County for having many public schools without air conditioning. Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun. 1432. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

Two prominent Maryland Democrats on Monday joined calls for Gov. Larry Hogan to say whether he would support Donald Trump if the GOP frontrunner wins the nomination.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, a Democrat who some believe is eyeing a gubernatorial campaign in 2018, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat currently running for Senate, said at an event in Baltimore County that it is time for Hogan to "come clean."

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"He can't have it both ways. He can't say I'm for Chris Christie and I'm out here campaigning in New Hampshire on state time ... and then all of a sudden say he's disgusted with national politics," Kamenetz said in response to a reporter's question. "He needs to tell us, 'Are you for Trump or are you against Trump?'"

Van Hollen added: "Gov. Hogan needs to come clean on this and tell the Maryland public where he stands."

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Hogan, a Republican, declined to offer his position in a news conference last week, and Democrats sense a wedge they are likely to continue to drive. The first official to raise the issue was Rep. John Delaney, a Montgomery County Democrat who many also believe is weighing a run against Hogan in 2018.

While the effort to pin Hogan down is obviously political, it is not entirely partisan. A number of centrist Republicans have disavowed Trump, notably Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker -- elected in 2014 in a similarly blue state. National Republican leaders have raised concerns about the impact Trump's nomination could have on down-ballot races in November.

Working against that idea, however, is the fact that Trump is popular among Maryland Republicans, according to at least two polls. Most recently, a Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll last week showed Trump leading the field. He had a nine-point lead over his closest competitor, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

"Quite frankly, I'm completely disgusted with national politics in both parties -- Democrats and Republicans," Hogan said when asked about Trump at a news conference at the State House last week. "I'm not paying much attention. I'm trying to focus here in Maryland. I don't know who the Republican nominee is going to be. I don't know who the Democratic nominee is going to be. I don't know if we're going to have a third-party candidate."

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