Former President Donald Trump achieved a measure of revenge Tuesday over one of his critics as Maryland state Del. Dan Cox won the Republican primary for governor.
Cox defeated former state Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz, who served under and was backed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. Hogan, a moderate Republican and frequent Trump critic, could not run again due to term limits.
Although final totals will not be available for days until absentee ballots are counted, Cox had a lead of 56.2 percent to 40.3 percent over Schultz with 79.8 percent of the votes tallied, according to Politico.
“Get rid of Shutdown RINO Larry Hogan who is trying to get another RINO into office, Kelly Schulz,” Trump said in a statement on Monday. The acronym “RINO” stands for “Republican in name only.”
Cox and many other Republicans had criticized Hogan’s lockdowns and vaccine mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cox, when asked about Trump’s backing, said Tuesday night, “We clearly were blessed by it,” Fox News reported.
Trumps wins again!
— Sue Knows Best (@sues86453) July 20, 2022
He stood before a sign reading “Trump Endorsed Dan Cox” as he declared victory, according to The Washington Post.
“This is a fantastic night for freedom everywhere,” Cox said.
“Every single one of you deserve this win tonight,” he said. “We will never again give over our bodies, our churches, and our businesses to a lockdown state.”
Trump has far more influence over Maryland republicans than hogan. I can tell you this as a Marylander who’s outside of the super left wing Baltimore/DC beltway. Only republicans who care what Hogan thinks are college kids trying to appease their leftist colleagues by moderating. https://t.co/t5JwwtlZJg
— Jared Rabel (@JradRabel) July 20, 2022
On the Democratic side, author Wes Moore was leading the field with 36.7 percent of the votes, but only with 61.1 percent of the vote counted.
Tom Perez, who was the secretary of labor under former President Barack Obama and later head of the Democratic National Committee, was second at 27.4 percent.
Peter Franchot, Maryland’s comptroller, was third at 19.6 percent.
One wrinkle in the campaign was a massive advertising buy from the Democratic Governors Association that emphasized Cox’s ties to Trump in order to help him win the primary; Democrats view him as much easier to beat in November.
“It’s unusual to see the DGA colluding with Trump to support the unelectable guy,” Hogan said, according to the Post.
Fox News noted that the Democratic governors also supported a Trump-backed candidate — conservative state Sen. Doug Mastriano — in Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial primary.
Hard to overstate the level of defeat suffered by the Maryland Republican establishment, and Larry Hogan, here. They were all behind Schulz, aware that she was their last, best hope.
Trump is still a major force to be reckoned with in GOP primaries, especially open ones.
— Max (@maxtmcc) July 20, 2022
“The Maryland Republican Party got together and committed ritualized mass suicide,” said Doug Mayer, a senior aide to Schulz. “The only thing that was missing was Jim Jones and a cup of Kool-Aid.”
Trump, however, celebrated the Cox victory.
“Congratulations to Dan Cox,” he said in a post on Truth Social. “NBC Fake News just called the race, but in this case the reporting wasn’t Fake (for a change!).”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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