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Republican MD Del. Turns Democrat in Trump Era

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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.

Don Rush is the News Director and Senior Producer of News and Public Affairs at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.