N.J.'s lone Hispanic GOP lawmaker won't back Trump, report says

New Jersey's only Hispanic Republican state lawmaker said she can't support Donald Trump, her party's presumptive presidential nominee, according to a report by Politico New Jersey.

"I think it's more than just being the only Latina Republican in the Legislature," state Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (R-Burlington) told the website. "I think it's my whole life experience that leads me to not being able to support him."

Rodriguez-Gregg is one of many Republicans who have either refused to support or openly criticized Trump, even though the billionaire businessman and former Atlantic City casino tycoon beat 16 others — including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — in the GOP primary.

Trump has drawn backlash for making controversial comments about illegal immigration and Muslims, among other issues. And a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showed 89 percent of Hispanic voters in the U.S. have an unfavorable view of him. 

In New Jersey, Christie has become one of Trump's top advisers, even running his transition team. And most Republican county organizations in the state have endorsed Trump, according to Politico New Jersey — including Burlington County, which Rodriguez-Gregg represents.

But many lawmakers in the Garden State have appeared leery to publicly back Trump.

Rodriguez-Greeg, a 34-year-old of Puerto Rican descent, told Politico New Jersey she wants a president "that unifies them and doesn't divide us."

"But at the end of the day, he's one person, and this country is greater than one man or one woman," she told the website.

All but two of the state's Republican lawmakers are white. Politico New Jersey notes that the other minority GOP member, state Sen. Kevin O'Toole, who is part Korean-American, supports Trump. O'Toole is a longtime Christie ally.

Only a few Republican lawmakers in the state have been outspoken about their support of Trump, including state Sens. Michael Doherty (R-Warren) and Joe Pennachio (R-Morris) and Assemblyman Robert Auth (R-Bergen).


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