Dan Cox, backed by Trump, wins Maryland GOP primary

Del. Dan Cox talks to reporters outdoors in Annapolis, Md., on June 30, 2022.
Dan Cox, a Maryland state legislator who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, talks to reporters June 30 in Annapolis, Md.
(Brian Witte / Associated Press)

Dan Cox, a far-right state legislator endorsed by former President Trump, on Tuesday won the Republican primary for Maryland governor, defeating a moderate rival backed by outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan.

Cox will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the November general election. The top Democratic candidates include former U.S. Labor Secretary and Democratic Party chair Tom Perez, author Wes Moore and state Comptroller Peter Franchot.

Despite being a win for Trump, Cox’s victory over Kelly Schulz, a former Hogan Cabinet member, could be a blow to Republican chances to hold on to the seat in November. Hogan, who was prohibited from running for a third consecutive term, was a rare two-term Republican governor in a heavily Democratic state and endorsed Schulz as the successor to his bipartisan style of leadership.

The Republican primary was viewed as a proxy battle between Trump and Hogan, who offered vastly different visions of the party’s future as they consider 2024 campaigns for the White House. Hogan, one of Trump’s most prominent GOP critics, urged the party to move on from the former president’s divisive brand of politics, while Trump has spent much of his time since leaving office lifting candidates who embrace his election lies.

Cox has said President Biden’s victory shouldn’t have been certified, called former Vice President Mike Pence a “traitor” and sought unsuccessfully to impeach Hogan for his pandemic policies.


Democrats, too, saw Cox as an easier opponent in a general election, with the Democratic National Committee plowing more than $1 million behind an ad intended to boost him within the Republican primary.

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In another top race Tuesday, Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen beat back a primary challenge just months after suffering a minor stroke. He is favored to win a second term in November.

Voters were also picking nominees for an open seat in the state’s eight-member congressional delegation, and the daughter of the state’s former attorney general was vying for her father’s old job.

Ten candidates in all are seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. Perez has support from labor unions, while Moore, the former chief executive of antipoverty group Robin Hood Foundation, has been endorsed by the state’s teachers union and the top legislative leaders, House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson. Franchot, who comfortably won four races to be the state’s tax collector, brings significant name recognition to the primary.

Associated Press writer Michael Kunzelman in Silver Spring, Md., contributed to this report.