Here's the Democrat Winner in Closely Watched Maryland Race

Wes Moore will run against Dan Cox for governor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 19, 2022 11:55 PM CDT
Updated Jul 23, 2022 2:25 AM CDT
Trump-Backed Candidate Wins GOP Primary for Maryland Governor
Kenneth Blackwell Sr of Randallstown places his "I Voted " sticker on his shirt after casting his ballot at Randallstown Community Center during Maryland's primary election, Tuesday, July 19, 2022, in Randallstown, Md.   (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

(Newser) Update: Bestselling author Wes Moore won the Democratic primary for Maryland governor, it was announced Friday, setting up a general election contest against Republican Dan Cox, a hard-line conservative endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Moore, the author of the book The Other Wes Moore and the former CEO of an anti-poverty nonprofit, defeated a long list of other high-profile Democrats, including Tom Perez, the former US labor secretary and ex-Democratic National Committee chair, and Peter Franchot, the state's longtime comptroller. Moore will be the strong favorite in the November election against Cox, a right-wing member of the Maryland House of Delegates whose extreme brand of politics is considered a liability in a heavily Democratic state that twice elected centrist Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Moore would be the state's first Black governor if elected, the AP reports. Our original story from follows:

Dan Cox, a far-right state legislator endorsed by former President Trump, won the Republican primary for Maryland governor on Tuesday, defeating a moderate rival backed by outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan, the AP reports. Cox will face the winner of the highly competitive Democratic primary in the November general election. Wes Moore, a bestselling author backed by Oprah Winfrey, had an early lead Tuesday night, with the focus starting to turn to mail ballots that won’t be counted until later in the week. 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 his divisive brand of politics, while Trump spent much of his post-presidency lifting candidates who embrace his election lies, including Cox.

Democrats were likely giddy over Cox's win in the Republican primary. The Democratic Governors Association plowed more than $1 million behind an ad intended to boost Cox, seeing him as an easier opponent in November. Despite being a win for Trump, Cox’s victory over former Hogan Cabinet member Kelly Schulz 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 he had endorsed Schulz as the successor to his bipartisan style of leadership. Cox has been a thorn in Hogan's side over the last few years, suing over the governor's stay-at-home orders and regulations in the early days of the pandemic and seeking unsuccessfully to impeach him for COVID-19 orders Cox called “restrictive and protracted.”

Ten candidates in all were seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. Tom Perez, a former US labor secretary and former Democratic Party chair, had support from labor unions, while Moore, the former CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, an anti-poverty organization, was endorsed by the state’s teachers union and the two top Maryland legislative leaders, House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson. It could potentially take days, or even longer, to determine the winners in the most closely contested races, including the Democratic primary for governor. Maryland law prohibits counties from opening mail ballots until the Thursday after election day. 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 in November to win a second term.

(Read more Maryland stories.)

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