The Associated Press projects that Dan Cox is the winner of Maryland’s Republican gubernatorial primary in the race to succeed term-limited GOP governor Larry Hogan.
Cox, a state delegate, was endorsed and supported by former President Donald Trump.
Cox topped Kelly Schulz — a former state lawmaker who served as Maryland’s secretary of labor (2015-2019) and secretary of commerce (2019–2022) in the governor’s administration, was backed by Hogan — and two other candidates to capture the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
Trump, on the eve of the primary, took aim at both Hogan — a vocal Republican Trump critic — and Schulz.
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The former president urged Maryland voters to cast a ballot for Cox and “get rid Shutdown RINO Larry Hogan who is trying to get another RINO into office, Kelly Schulz.”
RINO is an acronym that stands for “Republican in name only.”
TRUMP, HOGAN, TRADE FIRE IN MARYLAND’S GOP GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY
Schulz pushed back on Tuesday morning, telling Fox News she’s no RINO, emphasizing she’s been a “Republican for my entire life.”
Hogan, in a Fox News interview last week, charged that Cox is a “crazy guy” who has “no business whatsoever running for governor and has no ability to win a race.”
The Democratic Governors Association, which is hungry to flip the governor’s office in the blue state of Maryland, seemed to agree with Hogan.
That’s why the DGA, the top organization helping Democratic candidates in gubernatorial races, spent nearly $2 million to run ads boosting Cox ahead of the primary. Democrats viewed Cox, a conservative lawmaker who supports Trump’s repeated unproven claims that his 2020 election loss to now President Biden was due to “massive voter fraud,” and who takes a hard line in opposing abortion, as a weaker candidate than Schulz in November’s general election.
In the Democratic primary, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who later served as DNC chair, was hoping to make history as Maryland’s first Latino governor. He’s one of three polling front-runners in the primary, along with state Comptroller Peter Franchot and author and former nonprofit CEO Wes Moore, whose latest TV ad is narrated by his best-known supporter — Oprah Winfrey. The media mogul also headlined a recent virtual fundraiser for Moore.
Also among the Democratic candidates is former Education Secretary John King, who if elected would become Maryland’s first Black governor.