A white Maryland lawmaker who used a racial slur for African Americans to describe a legislative district in Prince George's County should resign, Gov. Larry Hogan and a growing number of lawmakers said Wednesday.
Hogan tweeted Wednesday afternoon about Del. Mary Ann Lisanti's comment.
"The language of racism and hate has no place in our public discourse. Any public official who engages in this reprehensible conduct should do the right thing and step down," the governor's tweet said.
Lisanti, a Democrat who represents Harford County, northeast of Baltimore, apologized Tuesday for her use of the N-word. As first reported Monday by The Washington Post, Lisanti was at a gathering at an Annapolis cigar bar in late January when she referred to a candidate who had knocked on doors in Prince George's County as having campaigned in a "n----- district."
When asked by the Post if she had ever used the slur, the newspaper reported that she said: "I’m sure I have ... I'm sure everyone has used it. I’ve used the f-word. I used the Lord’s name in vain."
Lisanti apologized in a statement Tuesday, saying she was ashamed for using the "insensitive and hurtful word."
In a brief interview Wednesday with WBAL, Lisanti said, "I'm deeply apologetic. I've made a mistake. And I'm trying to repent for that."
Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said Wednesday that Lisanti should resign or be fired. She quoted her father in describing Lisanti's comment.
"Don't fight people about the wisdom of feeding dinosaurs. And I think he's right. Delegate Lisanti, in so many ways, is a dinosaur in terms of her thoughts and views. Unenlightened and ignorant," Alsobrooks said.
The Prince George's County executive said she was troubled by what Lisanti said to the Post.
"One of the most disturbing things about what she said was, 'Doesn't everybody speak this way?'" Alsobrooks said.
Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who chairs the state's Democratic Party, and Republican Party Chairman Dirk Haire, also called on Lisanti to resign.
Cummings says African Americans comprise about a third of voters in Lisanti's district, and they deserve to be represented by a person who is considerate of their views.
Haire says Lisanti's comment "is beneath the office of delegate."
Later Wednesday, Rep. Anthony Brown also called for Lisanti to resign.
“Ms. Lisanti’s use of a racial slur and her inability to fully grasp the offensiveness of the word has demonstrated that she clearly cannot represent the voters in Harford County who put her in office," he said in a statement.
There was no word from Lisanti on Wednesday about her future plans.