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Pro-Trump lawmaker announces Maryland gubernatorial campaign

July 5, 2021 GMT

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s gubernatorial race has its first pro-Trump candidate.

Dan Cox, a Republican state delegate, announced Sunday that he is running for governor in 2022.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Cox didn’t respond to its interview requests after he made the announcement over social media and text message.

Cox, 46, is serving his first term as a delegate representing Frederick and Carroll counties in the state legislature.

Cox called Vice President Pence a traitor in a tweet that he posted during the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Gov. Larry Hogan, a fellow Republican who is barred by term limits from running again, has dismissed Cox as a “QAnon conspiracy theorist.” QAnon centers on the baseless belief that Trump has been secretly waging a campaign against a Satan-worshipping cabal of “deep state” enemies and prominent Democrats operating a child sex trafficking ring.

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Cox unsuccessfully sued Hogan over his stay-at-home order at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two other Republicans have declared themselves as candidates in the Republican primary for governor: Kelly Schulz, the state’s commerce secretary, and anti-tax advocate Robin Ficker.

Nine Democrats have announced their candidacies for the gubernatorial race.