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Candidate won't distance self from secessionists

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Local,Maryland

GLEN BURNIE, Md. (AP) — A Republican candidate for Anne Arundel County Council says he won't respond to calls to distance himself from a group called the League of the South.

The Capital of Annapolis (http://bit.ly/1kmyVom ) reported Wednesday that Michael Peroutka said he won't play into Democrats' "cynical game." He also repeated that he is not a racist.

Peroutka said at a news conference that the League is a "Christian, free-market group" that has been unfairly labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Law Center says the group supports secession of Southern states.

Peroutka says his opponents are trying to smear him.

Democratic candidates, including Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, have called on Republicans running for office to distance themselves from Peroutka's candidacy because of his association with the league.

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