Author wins green light from Democrats in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Best-selling author Wes Moore won the Democratic primary for governor of Maryland on Friday, setting up a general election against Republican Dan Cox, a hardline conservative backed by former President Donald Trump.

Moore, a former CEO of an anti-poverty nonprofit, beat a long list of other top Democrats, including former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and longtime US Comptroller Peter Franchot. State.

Moore will take on Cox, a right-wing member of the Maryland House of Delegates. Cox promoted Trump’s campaign demands, organized buses to Washington for the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6, 2021, and tweeted during the insurgency at the United States Capitol that the Vice President of the time, Mike Pence, was a “traitor”.

A political novice, Moore was given a boost in his campaign by Oprah Winfrey, who hosted a virtual fundraiser for him. He also had the backing of U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat.

It took until Friday to call Moore’s Democratic primary as margins were tighter and more mail-in ballots were cast in the race. Maryland law prohibits counties from opening mail-in ballots until the Thursday following Election Day.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who has been barred from running for a third consecutive term, will not vote for him in November, his spokesman said Wednesday.

Trump gloated over Cox’s success over Kelly Schulz on Tuesday night, writing in a statement, “The RINO Larry Hogan endorsement doesn’t seem to be working out so well for his highly favored nominee.”

Hogan fired back on Wednesday, tweeting that “Trump has lost Republicans in the White House, House and Senate.” He said Trump “would cost us a gubernatorial seat in Maryland where I was 45 points ahead of him.”

Jim Dornan, a Republican political strategist with experience in Maryland politics, described Cox’s primary victory as “a disaster” for downgraded GOP candidates who rely on a strong gubernatorial candidate. to attract voters to the polls.

Still, the fact that Hogan’s hand-picked successor lost to a Trump-backed rival is an ominous sign for any national political ambitions Hogan might have, said St. Mary’s College political science professor Todd Eberly. of Maryland.

Democrats have long considered Cox the weakest candidate in the general election. The Democratic Governors Association went so far as to spend more than $1 million to run an ad intended to help Cox in the Republican primary by highlighting his endorsement of Trump.

Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson said he and Hogan could sit down and negotiate.

“While it may be politically advantageous for Democrats to do so, I’m concerned what it means that someone with such extreme views has a platform for the next four months,” he said. said Ferguson.

Lola R. McClure