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Moore leads Democrat primary for Maryland governor; Trump-backed Cox wins GOP nomination

Democratic race for Maryland Gov. still too close to call; Trump-backed Cox wins GOP nomination
Democratic race for Maryland Gov. still too close to call; Trump-backed Cox wins GOP nomination 02:53

BALTIMORE -- Author and nonprofit CEO Wes Moore (D) and Del. Dan Cox (R) hold significant leads in the race for governor.

Just after 11 p.m. Tuesday, CBS News projected Cox as the winner.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, Moore leads former U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez by about 10 points and Comptroller Peter Franchot by about 17 points.

No other Democrat has reached double digits, and former Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, who suspended his campaign in June, is a distant fourth with 4% of the vote.

Addressing supporters, Moore said his campaign "started with a thesis that we could actually escape the natural divisiveness of politics."

Franchot warned his opponents not to celebrate too early.

On the Republican side, the Donald Trump-backed Cox leads Gov. Larry Hogan's former labor and commerce secretary Kelly Schulz, 56% to 40%.

Earlier in the evening, Schulz told supporters it's not over yet.

The Associated Press reported earlier this week the race represented a fight for the future of the Republican party, with Hogan, a frequent Trump critic, tapping a successor in a race against a candidate supported by the former president.  

Cox introduced a resolution in February to impeach Hogan, accusing him of "malfeasance in office."

He also accused the governor of violating the rights of residents by issuing orders that were "restrictive and protracted" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Ricci, a spokesman for Hogan, dismissed the delegate as "a QAnon conspiracy theorist."

"Trump lost Republicans the White House, the House, and the Senate," Hogan said in a tweet Wednesday. "He's selfishly colluded with national Democrats to cost us a Governor's seat in Maryland where I ran 45 points ahead of him."

Cox has also said President Joe Biden's victory shouldn't have been certified and called former Vice President Mike Pence a "traitor," per the report.

Early votes from about 115,000 Democrats and 50,000 Republicans have been counted, and the state board of elections has reported tallies from about 94% of precincts.

Many votes are still outstanding, particularly mail-in ballots.

Elections officials caution not to expect results in some races for weeks. By law, local elections officials cannot open mail-in ballots until Thursday.

As of July 18, state elections officials reported receiving 213,019 mail-in ballots.

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