Trump endorses challenger to Hogan ally in Maryland governor's race

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE on Monday announced his endorsement of Maryland state Del. Daniel Cox for governor in next year's GOP primary against state Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schulz, who has the backing of Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

"Dan Cox is an American First Patriot who is running for Governor in the Great State of Maryland. A tough lawyer, and smart businessman, Dan has done outstanding work in the Maryland General Assembly. Dan is MAGA all the way, unlike his opponent, Kelly Schultz, who was handpicked by her 'boss,' RINO Larry Hogan, who has been terrible for our Country and is against the American First Movement," Trump said in a statement.

"As a State Delegate, Dan stood up to Hogan when he was supporting and meeting with Joe BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE. Dan is for low taxes, school choice, and no more lockdowns," Trump added. "He fought against the Rigged Presidential Election every step of the way, and will bring secure Elections back to Maryland."

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As The Baltimore Sun reported, Hogan, who is serving his last term as Maryland governor, has previously referred to Cox, who entered the race in July, as a “QAnon conspiracy theorist.”

“He’s certainly not the kind of person I would vote to put in the legislature or support in any way for anything,” Hogan said of Cox earlier this year.

Cox has garnered controversy over his remarks in the Maryland House of Delegates, once comparing a piece of legislation that allowed teens to request mental health care to the Holocaust.

According to the Sun, Cox also helped organize a bus to take people to Washington on Jan. 6 and was critical of former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceHaley hits the stump in South Carolina Mitch McConnell's great Trumpian miscalculation Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official MORE for not attempting to stop the 2020 Electoral College votes from being counted.

Cox later claimed that the group of people he organized to go to Washington never made it and did not participate in the deadly attack on the Capitol.

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He will face off against Schulz and former Maryland state Del. Robin Ficker in the Republican primary.

Schulz is a longtime ally of Hogan, having served as both his Labor and Commerce secretary after having previously served as a state delegate.

Hogan is among the more prominent members of the GOP to oppose Trump, calling for him to be removed from office immediately after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and labelling him as "toxic" for the Republican Party.