Maryland gubernatorial primaries taking shape a year ahead of polls opening

Maryland

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Though it is a year away, the race to succeed Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in next year’s election is taking shape.

An intra-party rivalry seems to be in the making. A Hogan administration insider is being aggressively challenged from the right by a candidate who is solidly from the Trump faction of the party. He opposed certifying the 2020 presidential election and even called Vice President Pence a traitor for not overturning the Electoral College results.

The Republican field is focused on Hogan’s Secretary of Commerce, Kelly Schulz, and a new entry just this week, Delegate Dan Cox. Both Shulz and Cox are from Frederick County. Schulz plans to run on the Hogan administration’s economic record. The more conservative Cox, however, has actually sued the governor over the stay-at-home policies that were ordered from Annapolis during the pandemic.

Jerry DeWolf, Washington County GOP chairman, said both Schultz and Cox have strong relationships in the General Assembly, but “Schulz, and secretary of commerce, brings a lot from inside the Hogan administration policies, whereas Delegate Dan Cox has a strong platform on Constitutional values and leadership on that front.”

The Democrats have a very crowded field of nearly a dozen candidates with no clear front runner right now. One interesting name circulating in political circles is that of former Maryland Republican Lt. Governor Michael Steele. He is not batting down rumors that he will jump into the race, and there is speculation that, if he does, he may do so as an independent.

Perennial GOP candidate Robin Ficker from Montgomery County has also thrown his hat into the ring for next year’s State House run.

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