Frederick County residents Schulz and Cox locked in bitter battle with GOP | Election coverage

In the Maryland gubernatorial race, former Maryland Commerce and Labor Secretary Kelly Schulz and State Deputy Dan Cox disagree on social issues but agree on budget priorities.

The leading Republican gubernatorial candidates are Frederick County residents who got their start in local politics.

A recent Goucher College poll found that 25% of Republican primary voters would choose Cox, while 22% would choose Schulz.

With a margin of error of approximately 4.8%, the results indicate a statistical link between Cox and Schulz.

Cox has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. Schulz aligned closely with and was endorsed by Gov. Larry Hogan, who is completing his second term and, according to Maryland’s constitution, cannot seek a third.

More than 90% of Goucher poll participants said they were either undecided about their choice or likely to change their minds before voting.

“Our polling suggests that the Republican primary race is competitive between Cox and Schulz, but that Schulz is in the best position to be competitive against the Democratic general election nominee,” Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College, said in a press release on the poll.

The Democratic Governors Association knows this too and has spent $1 million supporting Cox.

Two other candidates are seeking the Republican nomination — Baltimore County attorney Joe Werner and Robin Ficker, a recently disbarred attorney who from 1979 to 1983 represented Montgomery County in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Early voting for the primary election began Thursday and ends July 14. Primary election day is July 19.

Schulz was born in Michigan and lived for 12 years in Rochester, New York, before moving to Frederick County in 2003.

Schulz earned his associate’s degree in Rochester. In her mid-thirties, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hood College, becoming the first in her family to graduate from a four-year college.

“After moving to Frederick County, I became a single mom. I know how hard it is to be able to work paycheck and raise a family and try to put it all together,” Schulz said in an interview with the News-Post.

As a Hood student in 2005, Schulz landed her first job in politics, volunteering for Joe Baldi’s campaign for mayor of Frederick. Baldi lost the Republican nomination, but Schulz continued to work with the party until the November general election.

Schulz was elected in 2010 to represent Frederick and Carroll counties in the Maryland House of Delegates – a seat Cox now holds.

She left the legislature in 2014 to join Governor-elect Hogan’s transition team. She then served as Secretary of the State Department of Labor, then the Department of Commerce.

“It’s a little uncomfortable for me that my representative, [who’s] who currently represents me and Frederick County has no success bringing home the district I fought so hard for,” Schulz said.

Cox, from Washington, DC, said he moved with his family to Frederick County when he was about 4 years old.

Cox said in a News-Post interview that his grandparents were “Ronald Reagan conservatives” who were involved with the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee and influenced its politics.

Cox was elected to the House of Delegates in 2018.

While in Annapolis, he made clear his ardent support for Trump and repeatedly argued with Hogan, including a failed attempt to sue the governor over the state’s COVID restrictions and pushing for the remove.

He posted on Twitter during the United States Capitol uprising on January 6, 2021 that then-Vice President Mike Pence “is a traitor” for certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. Cox also have compared a mental health bill to the Holocaust.

Cox said that, if elected, he would seek to end the teaching of critical race theory in Maryland schools. There is no evidence, however, that critical race theory – the academic framework that law schools and other institutions of higher learning use to examine how racism is embedded in American institutions – is taught in the US. one of the primary or secondary schools in the state.

Cox said he would push for the Maryland Department of Education to also change state requirements for health and sexuality education.

In an interview with the News-Post, Cox alleged that people were taking advantage of state abortion laws for a regional sex trafficking industry.

He also said Schulz’s campaign was to blame for tensions within the Republican Party.

“I always thought well of Kelly Schulz, and I still do,” Cox said. “She’s been a friend in the past – unfortunately she’s taken a negative view of her campaign.”

The candidates and their supporters, namely Hogan and Trump, have traded disagreements throughout their campaigns.

Schulz and Cox diverged in their responses to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that guaranteed the right to abortion for women across the country.

Schulz said in a prepared statement that as governor she “would do nothing to change the current law in Maryland.”

However, as a state delegate, she supported bills to restrict women’s access to abortion. She has also been aligned with Hogan, who in April vetoed a bill to expand the criteria for determining who can perform an abortion.

Cox, on the other hand, said he would do “everything in my power under the Constitution” to end access to abortions in Maryland.

Schulz and Cox align themselves with other policy priorities, like fighting inflation, cutting state taxes and supporting law enforcement. Both candidates said they would push for people to treat police officers as “heroes”.

It will be an uphill battle for who wins the Republican nomination in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2 to 1.

“Given the political demographics of the state,” Kromer said, “Republican candidates need to win about a quarter of the Democratic vote to win statewide office.”

Follow Jack Hogan on Twitter: @jckhogan

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