John Fluharty was a candidate aiming for a prestigious position with the Department of Homeland Security. However, he removed himself from consideration Thursday, citing the president’s announcement the he is banning all transgender Americans from serving in the military.
Reportedly, Fluharty is no longer interested in the DHS assistant secretary of partnership and engagement position he interviewed for on Tuesday. He says that after Trump’s Twitter announcement Wednesday morning, which said transgender people could not serve in any capacity in the U.S. military, he would find it impossible to serve the administration.
According to an email obtained by POLITICO, Fluharty says he’s a “strong advocate for diversity, both in the Republican Party and in government”. Fluharty believes the president’s decision would force him to work against his values.
Fluharty, a former executive director of the Delaware Republican party, is said to be openly gay.
DHS reportedly confirmed Fluhartys withdrawal, and said he was being considered along side many other candidates, none of whom have similarly declined consideration for the position.
The position has not been an easy one to fill. Two months ago, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr. withdrew his name from consideration for the very same position at the Department of Homeland Security.
Sheriff Clarke was expected to start in a role at DHS at the end of June, but according to a person who was close to the administration and who was familiar with the situation, his appointment had been subject to significant delays that contributed to his withdrawal. He is now running for the US. Senate as a Republican.
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