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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

In New York, Marco Rubio's biggest supporter faces the Trump dilemma



The following is by Beth Reinhard of the Wall Street Journal:

Most anywhere Nicole Malliotakis goes, she gets the question—in the Staten Island senior center, on the streets of Brooklyn, at her parents’ kitchen table.

Why aren’t you supporting Donald Trump?

Earlier this year, Ms. Malliotakis, a 35-year-old New York assemblywoman, was her state’s leading backer of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. She openly criticized Mr. Trump’s rhetoric against women and Muslims and his past donations to Democrats. In tweets she added: “#NEVERTRUMP.”

Her district, meanwhile, is full of Trump supporters, including her own father. Mr. Rubio has long ago dropped out, and some New York state Republican leaders are urging local politicians to get behind the businessman front-runner ahead of the state’s Tuesday primary.

The question is a fraught one for Ms. Malliotakis and lawmakers around the country in similar straits, and it poses a challenge unlike most any other in any previous election.

If Mr. Trump wins the nomination but loses in November, politicians endorsing him will be saddled with the legacy of his bombast and policies that defy GOP orthodoxy. Not backing Mr. Trump, however, could risk career damage in a state where polls show him poised to win in a landslide.

Ms. Malliotakis, who is viewed as a Republican rising star, is dialing back criticism of Mr. Trump. All three GOP candidates or their allies are wooing her ahead of Tuesday vote.

Full story here.

[Last modified: Friday, April 15, 2016 11:56am]


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