Democrats spend over $1 million to boost Dan Cox, the Trump loyalist and 2020 election denier who just won the GOP primary for Maryland governor
- Dan Cox won the GOP primary for Governor in
- Cox has openly denied the results of the 2020 election, winning Trump's endorsement.
Dan Cox, a Republican backed by former President Donald Trump, won Maryland's gubernatorial Republican primary on July 19 — and he got a boost from Democrats.
The Democratic Governor's Association (DGA) funneled $1.16 million into TV ads for Cox, betting that the far-right candidate would be easier for the state's Democratic candidate to beat, the New York Times reported.
In an ad paid for by the DGA, the group calls Cox Trump's "hand-picked candidate," says he's "100% pro-life," and will protect second amendment rights "at all costs," — messages that likely resonated with Trump loyalists in the state.
In a statement to Insider, a DGA spokesperson said Cox's win "reaffirms" it was the right choice to run the ads and "hold him accountable for his radical MAGA stances."
"We'll continue to use the same message to defeat Cox and his dangerous agenda in November," the statement said.
The state's outgoing Republican governor, Larry Hogan, has been outspoken about his distain for Trump, and blamed him for what he sees as a sure loss for the Republicans in Maryland.
"Trump lost Republicans the White House, the House, and the Senate," Hogan, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, tweeted July 20. "He's selfishly colluded with national Democrats to cost us a Governor's seat in Maryland where I ran 45 points ahead of him. He's fighting for his ego. We're fighting to win, and the fight goes on."
A spokesperson for Hogan told Baltimore Banner reporter Pamela Wood that Hogan won't be voting for Cox in the general election.
The Times reported that Cox also chartered three busses from Maryland to Washington, DC, for the January 6, 2021, "Stop the Steal" Trump rally, the Times reported. He has also said Biden was "installed" in the White House and baselessly claimed voter fraud occurred in his home of Frederick County, Maryland, The Times reported.
Kelly Schulz, the GOP candidate endorsed by Hogan, called out the DGA's funding of Cox earlier this month, the Washington Post reported.
"The math is easy. Spend a million now and save $5 million by not having to face me in the general election," Schulz said to the Post.
She called Cox a "lying, conspiracy theorist … who is a danger to our party and our state," the Post reported.
The DGA has used this strategy in other states, too.
Darren Bailey, another Trump-backed far-right gubernatorial candidate, secured a spot as Illinois' Republican candidate in June. The DGA ran an ad about Bailey with some of the same talking points as Cox's ad, the Chicago Tribune reported.
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