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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 legislator who served as Maryland’s labor secretary (2015-2019) and commerce secretary (2019-2022) in the governor’s administration, was backed by Hogan — and two other candidates to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
Trump, on the eve of the primary, took aim at both Hogan — a vocal Republican critic of Trump — and Schulz.
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The former president urged voters in Maryland to vote for Cox and “get rid of Shutdown RINO Larry Hogan who is trying to bring another RINO into office, Kelly Schulz.”
RINO is an acronym that stands for “Republican in Name Only”.
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Schulz pushed back Tuesday morning, telling Fox News she’s not RINO, pointing out that she’s been “a Republican all my life.”
Hogan, in an interview with Fox News last week, accused Cox of being a “crazy guy” who has “no reason to run for governor and has no ability to win a race.”
The Democratic Governors Association, which is hungry to overthrow the governor’s office in the blue state of Maryland, seemed to agree with Hogan.
That’s why the DGA, the main organization that helps Democratic candidates in the gubernatorial races, spent nearly $2 million running Cox-boosting ads ahead of the primary. Democrats were considering Cox, a conservative lawmaker who backs Trump’s repeated unproven claims that his 2020 election loss to current President Biden was due to “massive voter fraud” and who takes a hard line to stand up for himself. oppose abortion, as a weaker candidate than Schulz in the November general election.
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In the Democratic primary, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who later served as DNC chairman, hoped to make history as Maryland’s first Latino governor. He is a top three poll favorite 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 supporter the best known, 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.