Monday, May 9, 2022

Donald Trump meets with Maryland governor hopeful Dan Cox at Mar-a-Lago in Florida

Fresh off a major victory in the Ohio U.S. Senate primary, former President Donald Trump is redoubling his efforts to play a similar kingmaker role in the Maryland Republican primary this July. Trump held a private meeting at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida last week with his endorsed candidate in the Maryland gubernatorial race, Dan Cox. A Republican state representative in the Maryland House of Delegates, Cox was heartily endorsed by Trump last year. In a statement, Trump urged Maryland Republican voters to turn out for Cox. "I want you to help him," Trump said. "He's going to win big."

The impact of Trump's endorsement in a state like Maryland won't be known until after those voters head to the polls on July 19. While Trump was almost single-handedly responsible for the win of J.D. Vance in the Ohio U.S. Senate primary, the Buckeye state is a solid Republican redoubt in 2022. Trump remains popular among large numbers of Republicans in Maryland, but victory there requires a larger percentage of independent and moderate Democratic votes than in Ohio. Current Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has sailed to victory twice, the second time - in part - due to his trashing of Trump loudly and repeatedly in the national media.

Hogan's attacks have the candidate he has endorsed to succeed him, Kelly Schulz, on the receiving end of Trump's own attacks.  The popular Republican governor is exploring a possible presidential run in 2024, and that no doubt has played a role in Trump's engagement in the Maryland race. As Maryland's commerce secretary, Schulz scored major wins in attracting a Hitachi railcar factory, and two new manufacturing facilities for United Safety Technology and Niagara Bottling, to a state that has seen those industrial jobs evaporate in recent decades.  

Schulz did not wage a similar public campaign against Trump while serving in Hogan's administration, but has earned Trump's ire simply for being Hogan's choice, and for carrying out Hogan's policies during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. Cox rose to prominence as a critic of those policies, going so far as to sue Hogan in court.

Schulz' primary political message has been that she is the only candidate who can maintain that Hogan coalition at the polls this November. “If you approve of how we have led Maryland, then Kelly Schulz is your choice for governor,” Hogan declared in his endorsement speech. With two impressive wins in a blue state under Hogan's belt, and high marks from even many Democratic voters, that's a compelling case for sure.

In contrast, Cox has wider goals than the continuation of the Hogan status quo. He has promised to audit the 2020 election, "stop the indoctrination of our kids in schools," end taxpayer funding of abortions, block the federal release of immigrants apprehended at the border into Maryland communities, and double police salaries. That's an agenda diehard Trump supporters in Maryland would strongly support. Establishment Republican operatives looking at a Democratic field that hasn't produced the clear, strong frontrunner many had expected...not so much. Which side of that GOP coin will have the numbers July 19 is anybody's guess at this point.

Cox, for his part, is confident of the positive impact of a Trump endorsement in Maryland. "The most powerful endorsement in America is the one I am blessed to have - President Trump's endorsement," he said in a statement after the Mar-a-Lago meeting. Cox said that Trump called several unnamed Republican leaders on the telephone during their meeting, exhorting them to support the Cox campaign.

Photo released by Dan Cox for Governor campaign


  1. Very good! Let's go with Cox this time.

  2. I'm with Cox anyone that president trump endorses is my person. I don't want someone who is endorsed by Hogan cause he was lousy

  3. Not in this lifetime!!

  4. I will be voting against Cox. Anyone who Trump endorses is no one I want running Maryland, no way! Keep your “Trumpism” I will be voting for Shulz. And should Cox win the primary, I’ll vote for the Democratic candidate in November.

    1. You probably feel that way because Biden and the Democratic party are doing so well for the Country.

    2. Your candidates are either Rino Republicans or Absent Minded Democrats