Former Maryland GOP Lt. Gov. and RNC chairman Michael Steele joins anti-Trump Lincoln Project

BALTIMORE — Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele has joined The Lincoln Project as a senior adviser, becoming the latest Republican to join the ranks of the political action committee that has become notorious for its television ads criticizing President Donald Trump.

Steele —the former chair of the Republican National Committee who served as Maryland’s lieutenant governor under then-Gov. Bob Ehrlich from 2003 to 2007 — has been a vocal critic of the Republican president throughout his administration.

In 2018, Steele, who was the first Black man in Maryland to serve in a statewide office as well as the first Black Chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Trump is racist and has continued to criticize the Trump administration in various media appearances.

In a statement, Steele wrote that Trump has “devolve(d) into preying upon fears and resentments with narcissism that nurtures only chaos and confusion.”

“Leadership is needed now more than ever and I am proudly committed to resetting the course of our nation, standing once again for the future of my Party; and working with The Lincoln Project to help restore the purpose for sitting in that chair,” Steele wrote.

In a news release, Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson said Steele “is a singularly insightful and effective political leader.”

“Many principled Republicans have rejected Trump and Trumpism, but few with such a remarkable track record of electoral success,” Wilson wrote. “Michael is the man largely responsible for engineering the Republican victories of 2010, and ushering the party into the digital age.”

Steele joins the ranks of former Maryland Republicans in power during the 1990s and 2000s to speak out against Trump.

Earlier this week, Connie Morella and Wayne Gilchrest, Maryland Republicans who served multiple terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, endorsed Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden.

While the former legislators have spoken out against the party, another Black Maryland Republican, Kim Klacik, has been elevated by party leadership.

The congressional nominee appeared in a brief video during Monday’s Republican National Convention, saying that she wants “Baltimore to be an example to Republicans around the country that we can compete in our inner cities if we reach out to the citizens and deliver real results.”

Klacik is running for the state’s 7th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives against incumbent U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume, a Democrat who defeated Klacik in a special election in April by a 3-to-1 margin. The district encompasses much of Baltimore City as well as large swaths of Howard and Baltimore counties.