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Dan Cox could benefit from Trump fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago



Maryland Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Cox may soon get some campaign finance help from former President Donald Trump.Trump is rewarding Cox, a close ally and supporter, with a Florida fundraiser next month at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. The event is billed as a private cocktail reception and also a birthday celebration for Cox’s wife. One political analyst said many wealthy people will attend the event.The fundraiser will be held 10 days before early voting starts in Maryland.The reception is also raising questions about whether further embracing Trump will help Cox in the general election, and whether it might actually be a joint fundraiser for Trump and Cox.”(The money) might go to Donald Trump’s campaign, might go to political action committees or areas of what we call ‘dark money,’ where independent political action committees can use that money to run support for Dan Cox apart from being a direct donation to his campaign,” said Roger Hartley, dean of the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore.The event’s ticket price is $1,776, and a photo with Trump and Cox will cost $25,000. The latest campaign finance report filed in August indicted Cox had $130,000 cash on hand.”Holding a fundraiser with Donald Trump reminds the public that he is deeply aligned with Donald Trump and really, really benefits from Donald Trump’s support,” Hartley said.Hartley questioned whether that close association will help Cox in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1. The latest Goucher Poll shows Trump receiving 32% support in Maryland.”If he’s trying to focus himself as a moderate candidate, like Gov. (Larry) Hogan has been, this is really a rough way to do it, in my opinion,” Hartley said.The Florida fundraiser would also come as Cox has tried to pivot his image to a more moderate candidate.”He needs to find a way to get on the news and in front of television commercials. So, he needs the funds for that more than anything else — not only to reach his base to turn out, but try to persuade moderate Republicans, some independents and maybe some moderate Democrats that he is worthy of his consideration,” Hartley said.Cox has supported Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, and he attended the Jan. 6, 2021, rally outside the White House. However, he did not participate in the attack on the Capitol.The Cox campaign promises to restore freedoms it says voters lost under the Hogan administration that include pandemic-related restrictions. Cox pledged to increase parental involvement in schools and restrict teaching gender, sexuality and the history of race in schools.As a state delegate, whose district encompasses portions of Carroll and Frederick counties, Cox introduced bills to restrict or roll back access to abortion.Political observers said they believe Cox is banking on a low voter turnout in the general election.”He may be in a position where he is betting his base may be more adamant in turning out for him than, say, the Democrat base for Wes Moore. But that is a huge gamble, a huge, huge gamble because the types of people who have governed Maryland have governed from the center,” Hartley said.A statement from the Moore campaign said: “Election deniers stick together and now Dan Cox is going all the way down to Florida with less than 50 days left in the election to kiss the ring. These men aren’t patriots, they’re a danger to our democracy and Dan Cox is doing everything he can to cozy up to Trump is an incredible threat to the future of Maryland.”According to the latest Goucher Poll, Moore holds a 22% lead over Cox with 9% of respondents undecided.The Cox campaign did not respond to WBAL-TV’s request for comment.

Maryland Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Cox may soon get some campaign finance help from former President Donald Trump.

Trump is rewarding Cox, a close ally and supporter, with a Florida fundraiser next month at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. The event is billed as a private cocktail reception and also a birthday celebration for Cox’s wife. One political analyst said many wealthy people will attend the event.

The fundraiser will be held 10 days before early voting starts in Maryland.

The reception is also raising questions about whether further embracing Trump will help Cox in the general election, and whether it might actually be a joint fundraiser for Trump and Cox.

“(The money) might go to Donald Trump’s campaign, might go to political action committees or areas of what we call ‘dark money,’ where independent political action committees can use that money to run support for Dan Cox apart from being a direct donation to his campaign,” said Roger Hartley, dean of the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore.

The event’s ticket price is $1,776, and a photo with Trump and Cox will cost $25,000. The latest campaign finance report filed in August indicted Cox had $130,000 cash on hand.

“Holding a fundraiser with Donald Trump reminds the public that he is deeply aligned with Donald Trump and really, really benefits from Donald Trump’s support,” Hartley said.

Hartley questioned whether that close association will help Cox in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1. The latest Goucher Poll shows Trump receiving 32% support in Maryland.

“If he’s trying to focus himself as a moderate candidate, like Gov. (Larry) Hogan has been, this is really a rough way to do it, in my opinion,” Hartley said.

The Florida fundraiser would also come as Cox has tried to pivot his image to a more moderate candidate.

“He needs to find a way to get on the news and in front of television commercials. So, he needs the funds for that more than anything else — not only to reach his base to turn out, but try to persuade moderate Republicans, some independents and maybe some moderate Democrats that he is worthy of his consideration,” Hartley said.

Cox has supported Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, and he attended the Jan. 6, 2021, rally outside the White House. However, he did not participate in the attack on the Capitol.

The Cox campaign promises to restore freedoms it says voters lost under the Hogan administration that include pandemic-related restrictions. Cox pledged to increase parental involvement in schools and restrict teaching gender, sexuality and the history of race in schools.

As a state delegate, whose district encompasses portions of Carroll and Frederick counties, Cox introduced bills to restrict or roll back access to abortion.

Political observers said they believe Cox is banking on a low voter turnout in the general election.

“He may be in a position where he is betting his base may be more adamant in turning out for him than, say, the Democrat base for Wes Moore. But that is a huge gamble, a huge, huge gamble because the types of people who have governed Maryland have governed from the center,” Hartley said.

A statement from the Moore campaign said: “Election deniers stick together and now Dan Cox is going all the way down to Florida with less than 50 days left in the election to kiss the ring. These men aren’t patriots, they’re a danger to our democracy and Dan Cox is doing everything he can to cozy up to Trump is an incredible threat to the future of Maryland.”

According to the latest Goucher Poll, Moore holds a 22% lead over Cox with 9% of respondents undecided.

The Cox campaign did not respond to WBAL-TV’s request for comment.



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