Rep. John Delaney calls on Gov. Hogan to take position on Donald Trump

Rep. John Delaney on Friday called for Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to declare whether he will support Donald Trump's presidential campaign if the billionaire wins the GOP nomination -- the first elected official to challenge Hogan on the issue.

Trump's unorthodox candidacy has split Republicans nationally, and a growing number of leaders within the party -- including Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and former New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman -- have said they will not support him in November if he wins the nomination.


Delaney, a centrist Democrat who many believe is eyeing a run for governor himself in 2018, said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun that he believes it is time for Hogan to take a position.

"He's the leader of the State of Maryland. If there's any state in the country whose values are not consistent with the things Trump has been saying, it's the State of Maryland," Delaney said. "The citizens deserve to know where he stands."

Later Friday, Delaney sent an email to supporters on the issue.


"I believe this is a moment of truth for our country, a time when people of all parties and persuasions should stand together and denounce Trump's campaign. That includes our governor here in Maryland," Delaney wrote. "So far he's refused to even answer the question."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- whom Hogan initially endorsed for president -- is now backing Trump, as is Maine Gov. Paul LePage. Others, including Rep. Andy Harris of Baltimore County have not endorsed Trump in the primary but have said they will support whoever wins the nomination.

A Hogan spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Hogan leads a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a better than two-to-one margin. Perhaps because of that, he has for the most part declined to tie himself to other candidates, including in the crowded race for the Maryland GOP Senate nomination.

The governor has said he endorsed and campaigned with Christie because the two are friends.

Asked late last month if he would have tried to talk Christie out of endorsing Trump, the governor was silent for a few seconds.

"I don't have any comment about that," he said. "You got me speechless on that one."