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Maryland US Rep. David Trone apologizes for using racial slur at hearing. He says it was inadvertent

FILE - U.S. Rep. David Trone, D-Md., is seen speaking at a news conference in this Jan. 17, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Trone, who is running for Senate, has apologized for using a racial slur during a budget hearing, Thursday, March 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland congressman who is running for Senate has apologized for what he said was the inadvertent use of a racial slur during a budget hearing.

Rep. David Trone, a Democrat, said he confused the word he used with another one as he spoke about tax rates. The congressman, who is the founder of the national Total Wine & More chain, made the comment while saying corporate tax rates didn't influence how he conducted business.

Trone later issued a written statement to apologize.

“While attempting to use the word ‘bugaboo’ in a hearing, I used a phrase that is offensive," he said. "That word has a long dark terrible history. It should never be used any time, anywhere, in any conversation. I recognize that as a white man, I have privilege. And as an elected official, I have a responsibility for the words I use — especially in the heat of the moment. Regardless of what I meant to say, I shouldn’t have used that language.”

Trone is running for the Democratic nomination in a Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Ben Cardin. He is running against Angela Alsobrooks, who is running to become the state's first Black U.S. senator. She is the chief executive of Prince George's County, in the suburbs of the nation's capital.