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Some GOP governors call for delay on Kavanaugh vote

(ASSOCIATED PRESS) – A handful of Republican governors facing re-election in left-leaning states called on the U.S. Senate Thursday to delay a confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to allow time for an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.

The governors don’t have an official role in the nomination process, but their voices could add pressure to the Senate’s consideration and help distance the governors from President Donald Trump.

Three governors who called for a delay in the vote have been critical of Trump on at least some issues in the past and are seeking re-election in Democratic-leaning states.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told reporters there needs to be a full and independent investigation of the claims before a vote is taken.

“I said that because I believe professor Ford,” Baker said.

He was referring to Christine Blasey Ford, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers in the 1980s.

At a rally in Boston on Thursday, his Democratic opponent, Jay Gonzalez, still took aim at Baker for not speaking out more strongly.

“I will be a governor who stands up for women, speaks out against sexual abuse and believes survivors who have the courage to share their stories,” he said.

On Wednesday, before Ford’s testimony, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott told the Burlington Free Press that the Senate was obligated to “get it right.”

“So take your time. Investigate,” he said.

Through a spokeswoman, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Kavanaugh’s nomination should not proceed without a full investigation of the allegations. A week earlier, Hogan had rejected a Democratic state senator’s call for Maryland state police to investigate Ford’s allegations.

Hogan’s opponent in the November election, Democrat Ben Jealous, went further, saying Kavanaugh should not be confirmed.

“The women who have come forward should have the freedom to pursue legal remedy, and our leaders have the obligation to do everything they can to end this epidemic of sexual violence,” he said in a statement.

Some other Republican governors and candidates for the office stopped short of calling for a full investigation.
Mike DeWine, the Republican running for the open governor’s seat in Ohio, said the Senate needs to look carefully at the evidence, but without specifically calling for a delay in the confirmation vote.

Brian Sandoval, the outgoing Republican governor of Nevada, and Scott Walker, running for re-election in Wisconsin, made similar comments.

Screencap: YouTube/CBS News

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