It was the latest victory for Trump over anti-MAGA Governor Larry Hogan, who endorsed his moderate protégé Kelly Schulz. It was also the latest race to see direct Democrat influence, as the party spent money on television ads meant to boost what they see as an easy candidate to beat in the general election.
According to the New York Times:
Like their brethren in Illinois and Pennsylvania, Maryland Republicans chose a Trump-endorsed candidate from the far right instead of opponents backed by the political establishment, which warned in each state that Mr. Trump’s picks would be toxic in the general election.
Maryland’s contest may have broader implications for 2024 presidential politics. Mr. Hogan has sought to present himself as a potential alternative to Mr. Trump, who has been considering an early 2024 announcement, but the governor’s failure to help his handpicked successor win the nomination in his home state will raise questions about his political clout.
Mr. Cox, whose campaign raised little money, was the beneficiary of more than $1.16 million in television advertising from the Democratic Governors Association, which tried to help his primary campaign in hopes that he would be easier to defeat in the general election. Democrats across the country have employed similar strategies to aid far-right candidates in G.O.P. primaries this year, despite the risk that it could backfire.
Mr. Cox now faces a steep general-election challenge in a state Joseph R. Biden Jr. won by more than 30 percentage points. Republicans like Mr. Hogan have done well in Maryland by appealing to independents and moderate Democratic voters worried about Democratic dominance of the General Assembly; Mr. Cox has predicated his campaign on a fealty to Mr. Trump and his far-right base.