In former President Donald Trump’s latest Republican primary win, Maryland state Delegate Dan Cox won the GOP nomination for governor Tuesday – boosting Democrats after they spent more than $1 million propping up the conservative candidate.
Cox narrowly beat out former state Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz with 56% of the vote, while she could only muster 40% by the time the Associated Press called the race.
Incumbent GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, who backed Schulz, was unable to run for re-election again due to term limits.
In the weeks leading up to the primary election, Cox received a massive boost from the Democratic Governors Association, which spent approximately $1,175,00 on ads labeling him as “too close to Trump” and “too conservative” for Maryland.
Cox’s anti-abortion, pro-Second Amendment views — as well as his belief that the 2020 presidential election was rife with fraud — may be popular among Republican voters, but are likely to turn off moderates and independents in a state where President Biden won 65% of the vote two years ago.
Cox is now set to face off against either Wes Moore or Tom Perez. The Democratic primary race has yet to be called.
In Tuesday’s Senate primary, Democratic incumbent Chris Van Hollen – who suffered a stroke in May – sailed easily to renomination, beating out challenger Michelle Smith with 78% of the vote.
In the 1st Congressional District, Democratic candidate Heather Mizeur beat out David Harden with 69% of the vote to win the right to challenge Republican incumbent Rep. Andy Harris in the fall.