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Former Pa. Gov. Ridge says he can't vote for Trump as GOP nominee

| Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, 4:57 p.m.

If Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination for president, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge said Monday he would stay home rather than support his party's candidate.

“It may be the first presidential election I don't vote,” Ridge told the Tribune-Review. “I think he's an embarrassment to my party, I think he's an embarrassment to the country, and I can't vote for him today, tomorrow or ever.”

Ridge, a Republican who was elected to two terms as governor before serving as the first Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, said he plans to be in New Hampshire before that state's Feb. 9 primary to show his support for former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Asked whether he would support an independent run by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Ridge declined to comment.

Ridge said he could not vote for former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she wins the Democratic nomination and is opposed by Trump.

“She's about as flawed as they come,” Ridge said, citing Clinton's problems with routing top secret email communications through a private computer server at her home.

Ridge spoke to the Trib before appearing at Carnegie Mellon University for the Cyburgh, PA 2016 Initiative hosted by the Pittsburgh Technology Council and CMU's Software Engineering Institute.

Andrew Conte is an investigative reporter for the Tribune-Review. Reach him at andrewconte@tribweb.com or 412-320-7835.

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