ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (CSU) On Tuesday, far-right state legislator Dan Cox defeated a moderate opponent supported by outgoing governor Larry Hogan to win the Republican nomination for governor of Maryland. Cox was endorsed by former president Donald Trump.
In the general election in November, Cox will compete against the Democratic primary’s victor. Tuesday night, Wes Moore, a best-selling novelist supported by Oprah Winfrey, held a commanding lead as attention began to shift to mail-in ballots that wouldn’t be tabulated until later in the week.
Despite being a success for Trump, Cox’s victory over Kelly Schulz, a former member of Hogan’s cabinet, may have hurt Republicans’ prospects of retaining the governor’s office come November. Hogan, a rare two-term Republican governor in a largely Democratic state who was barred from seeking for a third time, had supported Schulz to carry on his nonpartisan leadership style.
Over the last few years, Cox has been a pain in Hogan’s side, suing the governor over his stay-at-home directives and rules and trying in vain to have Hogan impeached over COVID-19 directives he considered “restrictive and prolonged.”
In his victory address on Tuesday night, Cox made a reference to his battle with Hogan by promising to “never again turn up our bodies, our churches, and our businesses to a lockdown state.”
As they ponder running for the White House in 2024, Trump and Hogan presented quite different visions of the party’s future in the Republican primary, which was seen as a proxy contest between them. While Trump spent a significant portion of his post-presidency boosting candidates who propagate his claims about a stolen 2020 election, Hogan, one of Trump’s most prominent GOP detractors, urged the party to move on from his toxic brand of politics.
Cox was one of those candidates, organising busloads of demonstrators to travel to Washington for the “Stop the Steal” demonstration that took place before the uprising at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Additionally, Cox tweeted that former Vice President Mike Pence was a “traitor” and argued that President Joe Biden’s win should not have been recognised. Cox later apologised and deleted the tweet.
In all likelihood, Cox’s victory in the Republican primary made Democrats ecstatic. The Democratic Governors Association invested more than $1 million in a pro-Cox advertisement because they thought he would be a less difficult opponent in the general election.
Trump, who was also jubilant, said in a statement just before the results were announced: “RINO For his strongly favoured candidate, Larry Hogan’s endorsement doesn’t appear to be working out very well. Then, I hope Larry runs for President!
Cox follows ultraconservative state lawmakers Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania and Darren Bailey in Illinois as Trump supporters who have gone on to win their respective Republican selections for governor. All three battled against the COVID-19 policies of their governors, vehemently opposed the right to an abortion, and questioned the validity of the 2020 election.
The most heatedly contested elections in Maryland, including the Democratic primary for governor, may not be decided for days or maybe longer. According to Maryland law, counties are not allowed to open mail-in votes until the Thursday after election day.
Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen defeated a primary challenger just months after having a small stroke in one of the first contests of the evening to be called. In November, he is expected to defeat Republican Chris Chaffee, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2014.
In her three-way Democratic primary for a third term, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who is awaiting trial on federal criminal charges, was lagging early results.
Mosby is accused of lying on loan applications to buy Florida real estate and of making a false statement under penalty of perjury. Her criminal case against six police officers in the 2015 murder of Freddie Gray, a Black man who suffered a spinal injury after being detained, chained, and thrown headfirst into a van, propelled her to global attention. None of the policemen were found guilty.
In the Democratic primary for governor, the leading contenders were Peter Franchot, the state’s four-term state comptroller, Tom Perez, a former U.S. labour secretary and former Democratic Party chair, and Moore, a former CEO of the anti-poverty nonprofit Robin Hood Foundation.
High school teacher Laura Kretchman, 41, claimed that Moore’s support from the state’s teachers union was a factor in her decision to cast her ballot for him. She expressed admiration for Moore’s successes after learning to overcome hardships as a youngster and being raised by a single mother.
I’d want to see maybe what he can offer to aiding those students who are suffering and challenged, said Kretchman, an Annapolis resident who teaches children at a school where children also come from challenging backgrounds.
Others who cast ballots stated that they favoured a lengthy record of public service. Curtis Fatig, 67, voted for Perez because of this. He is not a recent arrival, Fatig claimed.
Tuesday’s victory for Cox is a success for Trump, whose endorsement track record for this year’s midterm elections is uneven. But his candidate will have a tough fight in the autumn in such a predominantly Democratic state.
Republican voters said that Trump’s endorsement influenced their decision to support Cox. Others claimed it was irrelevant.
Because Maryland is “very liberal,” according to 63-year-old David Gateau, “we need to get back to some morals.” He said that Trump’s support wasn’t actually important.
Hogan, according to Gateau, “was more of a RINO than a Republican governor, and I think our state reflects that.” Cameron Martin, 22, stated that the “primary reason” he chose Cox was because of Trump’s support, but he also stated that he believed Cox shared his Republican views and “would best represent me.”
The lone available congressional seat in Maryland was in the 4th Congressional District, which has a predominately Democratic Black population. Glenn Ivey, a former county prosecutor, defeated former representative Donna Edwards in the Democratic primary to take the position.
Rep. Anthony Brown, the 4th District’s sitting representative, resigned to run for attorney general. He defeated Katie Curran O’Malley, a retired judge from Baltimore and the daughter of the late attorney general J. Joseph Curran Jr., to win the Democratic primary on Tuesday night. Brown served as lieutenant governor under Gov. Martin O’Malley.
The 188 seats in the Democratic-controlled Maryland General Assembly were all up for election.
Disputes over Maryland’s congressional and state legislative maps resulted in a three-week delay in the primary.
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