Trump-backed Dan Cox wins Maryland GOP gubernatorial nomination

State Deputy Dan Cox, who had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, won the GOP nomination for governor of Maryland.

The Associated Press reported the race Tuesday night. Cox will face the winner of the Democratic primary in November and will be a substantial underdog.

Author and executive Wes Moore led the Democratic primary on Tuesday night, drawing 37% of the vote to former Labor Secretary Tom Perez’s 27%. The race was unlikely to be called Tuesday night, as Maryland counties won’t begin counting mail-in ballots until Thursday morning.

The victory for Cox, who wholeheartedly embraced Trump’s lies about the 2020 presidential election and espouses hardline conservative views on most major issues, is also a crushing defeat for Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, the popular moderate who has clashed with the former president on several occasions and is considering a presidential bid in 2024.

Hogan endorsed, raised funds and campaigned for Kelly Schulz, a former member of his cabinet and Cox’s main contest for the nomination.

Cox’s victory, in the eyes of most Democrats and National Republicans, means the GOP has little to no chance of winning the governorship in November.

The Democratic Governors Association controversially intervened in the primary, running ads highlighting Cox’s ties to Trump and his opposition to abortion rights. While those positions are unpopular with the broader electorate of Maryland, a state President Joe Biden won by 30 percentage points in 2020, they effectively bolstered Cox’s name identification in a primary where both candidates were little known.

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