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Republican gubernatorial candidate Kelly Schulz is criticizing the Democratic Governors Association for promoting her top rival, whom she calls a “fringe” and “unelectable” candidate, in next month’s GOP primary in Maryland.
Schulz is taking aim at the DGA, the top organization helping Democratic candidates in gubernatorial races, for spending nearly seven figures to run ads boosting state Delegate Dan Cox, who last year was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
“The Democratic Governors Association decided to spend nearly $1 million to help Dan Cox. They’re only doing this and meddling in our primary because they know that I am the only Republican who can win in November,” Schulz said on Twitter.
Democrats view Cox, a conservative lawmaker who supports Trump’s repeated unproven claims that his 2020 election loss to now President Biden was due to “massive voter fraud,” as a weaker candidate than Schulz in November’s general election in the race to succeed two-term GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, who is term limited.
Cox and Schultz – a former state lawmaker who served as Maryland’s secretary of labor (2015-2019) and secretary of commerce (2019–2022) – are the two clear front-runners in the most recent polling of the four-candidate GOP field ahead of the July 19 primary. Nine Democrats are running in a jam-packed primary for their party’s nomination in the blue state of Maryland.
“The DGA loves to talk about protecting and defending Democracy, but in reality they couldn’t give a damn and this proves it,” Schulz campaign communications director Mike Demkiw claimed in a statement. “Dan Cox and every single Democratic candidate should condemn the DGA for these underhanded tactics or accept the fact they are complicit in their political deceit of Maryland voters.”
And, Demkiw claimed, “Dan Cox is a pathological liar, a conspiracy nut, and he’s completely unfit to serve as governor – and that’s exactly why the DGA is willing to spend this kind of money supporting him.”
Cox got a boost from the former president on Saturday, as Trump called in to a Cox campaign rally.
The Democratic meddling in Maryland’s GOP gubernatorial primary is far from an isolated incident.
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and the DGA worked to boost conservative state Sen. Darren Bailey, who easily topped moderate Republican Mayor Richard Irvin of Aurora, a city in metropolitan Chicago, and cryptocurrency entrepreneur Jesse Sullivan, who were his top two rivals, in Tuesday’s GOP gubernatorial primary in Illinois.
Democrats viewed the right-wing Bailey as the weaker candidate in the November general election compared to Irvin, who was helped by tens of millions in support from billionaire conservative Ken Griffin, the CEO of Citadel, the multinational hedge fund and financial services behemoth.
Pritzker, a first-term governor, billionaire businessman, philanthropist and member of the family that owns the Hyatt hotel chain, and the Democratic Governors Association shelled out tens of millions of dollars to run ads pumping up Bailey’s conservative credentials.
The Democrats’ efforts seemed to be aided by Trump, who endorsed Bailey as he headlined a rally in Illinois three days ahead of the primary.
However, efforts by pro-Democratic groups in Colorado to shape the state’s GOP Senate and gubernatorial primaries, which were also held on Tuesday, fell short of their intended goals.
Democrats also meddled in a couple of congressional primaries in California and spent resources to boost state Sen. Doug Mastriano of Pennsylvania, who last month won the GOP gubernatorial nomination.
Meddling in the opposition party’s primaries is far from new in campaign politics, but there is always a potential downside to the strategy.
The Washington Post Editorial Board is knocking the multimillion-dollar push this cycle by Democratic groups to pump up far-right Republican candidates running in GOP primaries whom they consider to be weaker general election nominees.
“Democracy itself is on the ballot this election year. The country needs a broad coalition to defeat candidates who would help former president Donald Trump, or another politician in his mold, again attempt a coup in 2024. Which is why it is not just shameless, but dangerous, that Democrats have spent tens of millions this year promoting Republican extremists,” the editorial board emphasized.
The DGA did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request comment.