Franklin County District Attorney Matt Fogal made headlines in June when he announced unequivocal support for the Black Lives Matter movement, but not everyone was happy.
This week, local Republican leadership, the Franklin County Republican Committee, formally censured Fogal for his comments.
In Fogal’s June statement, the registered Republican says, “Black Lives Matter. Period. Full stop. I confess, when I first heard that phrase, my immediate reaction was that “All Lives Matter.” I was wrong, and part of the problem.”
READ: Republican DA in Central Pa. releases statement supporting Black Lives Matter protesters
Fogal went on to encourage Franklin County residents to vote this November and exhibit “political courage and never put the party before the country or conscience.”
These comments and more from the letter became the subject of the FCRC’s concerns.
The organization’s letter, signed by committee chairman Allen Coffman, was posted in full to the site of The Franklin County Journal. It states that it is censuring Fogal for his “activities in support of the radical and violent movement ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Also for your encouragement of Franklin County Citizens to support those who oppose the re-election of our President, Donald J. Trump.”
According to the censure notice, Fogal visited with the committee, but it only reinforced their concerns. The group condemned Black Lives Matter, calling it a “Marxist revolutionary group dedicated to the dissolution of America.”
“Black Lives Matter is not about the preservation of people’s lives of any color. If it were, you would see them on the front lines fighting for those innocent people being murdered by the hundreds in largely Black on Black crime in our major cities,” the committee wrote.
- READ: Black Lives Matter rally draws counter-protest in bitterly divided Pa. town
As for Fogal’s comments on voting, the committee calls the idea of not voting for Trump misguided.
“Our opponents in November, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, stand shoulder to shoulder with the lawless revolutionaries who are burning, looting, and murdering across our nation,” the committee wrote.
The committee zeroed in on the fact that, after Fogal was appointed to the role in 2009 when District Jack Attorney Nelson died suddenly, he switched from registering independent to Republican when he formally ran to keep the position.
“You have enjoyed running unopposed for your office since,” the committee wrote. “Your recent actions can only be seen as a betrayal of those who have given you their support, and the 72% of Franklin County voters (Republicans, Democrats and Independents) who gave President Trump their votes in 2016.”
In all, the committee said it is withdrawing support for Fogal for any future office he may seek.
Fogal was re-elected to the District Attorney’s Office last year and has not stated whether he intends to run again when his term is up.
Coffman did not respond to a request for comment on the letter. Fogal had no additional statements on Monday.
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