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Maryland Democratic Party head clarifies memo on speakership

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s Democratic Party chair is clarifying a memo that brought criticism from the head of the Legislative Black Caucus relating to the race for a new speaker of the House.

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings said on Thursday comments about the party being ready to “penalize” elected officials were directed at officials who use party resources to promote Republicans. She said it didn’t relate to Democrats who support a candidate for House speaker who happens to win support from 42 GOP House members. Both topics were mentioned in her Wednesday memo.

The memo prompted Del. Darryl Barnes to write Thursday that it was unacceptable to use “bullying” tactics to “prevent our colleagues from either side of the aisle from voting for the Democratic candidate they feel is best qualified” for speaker.

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