Maryland lawmaker cites Trump in decision to become Democrat

Meagan Simonaire, a Maryland state lawmaker, announces she is switching parties from Republican to Democrat on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, in Annapolis, Md., partly because of President Donald Trump. Simonaire said she "can no longer remain a part of a party that condones his rhetoric" against women and minorities. Simonaire is standing with Del. Darryl Barnes, left, Del. Bonnie Cullison, and Kathleen Matthews, far left, who chairs the Maryland Democratic Party. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland lawmaker says President Donald Trump’s rhetoric has played a role in her decision to leave the Republican Party and become a Democrat.

Del. Meagan Simonaire changed parties Monday.

Simonaire, whose district is conservative, says she increasingly found herself aligned with Democratic values. Speaking of Trump, she noted “attacks” on minorities, women “and anyone who does not agree with him.”

Trump is unpopular in much of Maryland, where he received 34 percent of the vote.

Simonaire surprised lawmakers in April, when she spoke about her parents considering therapy for her when she told them she was bisexual. She spoke about it during debate on a measure to ban “gay conversion therapy” for minors, a ban that was approved. Simonaire isn’t seeking re-election, but isn’t ruling out future public service.

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