Bestselling author Wes Moore won the Democratic primary for Maryland governor on 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 U.S. 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.
GOP voters’ decision to nominate Cox dashed the hopes of Hogan and other establishment Republicans that the party could hold on to the governor’s mansion in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-to-1.
Trump gloated over Cox’s success over Schulz on Tuesday night, writing in a statement, “RINO Larry Hogan’s Endorsement doesn’t seem to be working out so well for his heavily favored candidate.”
Jim Dornan, a Republican political strategist with experience in Maryland politics, described Cox’s victory in the primary as “a disaster” for down-ballot GOP candidates relying on a strong gubernatorial nominee to draw voters to the polls.
He said any satisfaction Trump gleaned from defeating Hogan’s candidate would be short-lived because Republicans are now likely to lose the general election.
“I guess it can be put this way: Trump won the battle, and Hogan is looking to win the war,” said Dornan, who managed Republican Ellen Sauerbrey’s 1998 gubernatorial campaign and ran former Republican Party chair Michael Steele’s exploratory committee for governor last year before he decided against a bid.
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