Dan Cox, a far-right Maryland state legislator, won Tuesday's Republican primary to replace term-limited Gov. Larry Hogan (R), The Associated Press projects. Hogan had endorsed his former labor secretary, Kelly Schulz, a fellow Republican moderate, while former President Donald Trump had backed Cox, who "has made outlandish claims about the 2020 election and called Vice President Mike Pence 'a traitor' during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol," The New York Times reports.
Schulz, before the race was called for Cox, told supporters she "will continue to fight for" her Republican Party, "the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and John McCain."
Cox's primary victory is a win for Trump in his bid to demonstrate his enduring influence in the Republican Party, but it "could be a blow to Republican chances to hold on to the seat in November," AP notes. His candidacy got a controversial boost from the Democratic Governors Association, which spent more than $1 million on TV ads for the Trump-backed Republican.
Cox, the Times adds, "will be a heavy underdog in the general election against the candidate who prevails in Maryland's Democratic primary," a tight race between former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Oprah-endorsed author Wes Moore, and state Comptroller Peter Franchot.