The Latest: Kavanaugh becomes flashpoint in governors’ races
The Latest on governors and gubernatorial candidates’ reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):
In New Mexico, where two members of Congress are running for governor, Republican candidate Steve Pearce said in a statement that “it will be up to the U.S. Senate and the American people to decide the path forward.”
Democratic candidate and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham said she was inspired by Ford’s courage.
She said in a statement that Kavanaugh’s nomination must be withdrawn immediately, citing President Trump’s “refusal to call for a thorough, independent FBI investigation into the multiple credible allegations” against the Supreme Court nominee.
The battle over sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has spilled into the nation’s contested governor’s races.
Republican governors seeking re-election in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and elsewhere are calling for a full investigation of sexual misconduct allegations about him before the U.S. Senate votes on his confirmation.
The calls came as Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford testified Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Some of their Democratic challengers are saying they should go even further and call on President Donald Trump to withdraw the nomination or for senators to vote down the confirmation.
Some Republicans have declined to comment, saying it’s a federal issue.
Governors don’t have an official say in the matter, but their words could add pressure in the process.
The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings have become a big topic in the toss-up race for governor in Connecticut after the Republican candidate initially punted in answering a question about them.
During a debate Wednesday night, hours before Christine Blasey Ford testified in Congress, Bob Stefanowski answered a question about whether Kavanaugh should be confirmed by saying, “I’m going to pass on that. That’s a federal issue.”
His answer prompted some in the audience to groan.
When asked about his answer by reporters afterward, Stefanowski questioned why such a “serious issue” was brought up as a yes or no question during a lightning round. On Thursday, he said the Senate Judiciary Committee should fully consider the testimony before moving forward.
His Democratic opponent, Ned Lamont, said the accusations against Kavanaugh deserve an independent investigation.
“Connecticut needs a governor who will not be silent — one who will be vocal, one who will speak out against sexual violence and one who will be a voice for those who have not been heard,” Lamont said.
Some Republican governors are calling for the U.S. Senate to delay a confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to allow time for an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told reporters, “I believe Professor Ford.”
He was referring to Christine Blasey Ford, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers in the 1980s.
Other Republican governors to speak out included Larry Hogan in Maryland, John Kasich in Ohio and Phil Scott in Vermont.
All except Kasich are facing re-election in November, and each in a state that often leans Democratic. Unlike many GOP governors and candidates, they have been critical of President Donald Trump on several issues.