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Dan Cox calls Wes Moore to concede defeat in Maryland governor’s race

Dan Cox, the Republican nominee for Maryland governor, addresses supporters at an election night watch party in Annapolis. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
2 min

Republican nominee Dan Cox has conceded defeat in his contest against Democrat Wes Moore to become Maryland’s next governor. Moore was declared the projected winner on Tuesday night.

Cox called Moore on Wednesday afternoon to congratulate him. He referred to Moore as governor-elect on the call, according to Moore’s campaign, which described Cox as “very gracious.”

In a statement in which he grapples with his lopsided loss, Cox offered prayers for Moore and his running mate, Aruna Miller, and urged them to “honor and protect constitutional rights … lower taxes … never again lock us down … and ensure that no one is left behind, including parents in their children’s education decisions and choices,” touching on themes Cox pushed in his campaign.

In the weeks leading up to Election Day, Cox had refused to commit to accepting the results of the race. He fought unsuccessfully in court to stop poll workers from counting mail-in ballots early. Cox, who has described the 2020 presidential election as “stolen,” that year demanded a federal audit of the presidential election and volunteered as a lawyer to block the certification of the results in Pennsylvania.

Moore told reporters late Tuesday night that he wasn’t worried about Cox’s lack of acknowledgment.

“He still has not acknowledged the results of the 2020 election,” Moore said. “So, I don’t plan on waiting for that call.”

In Md., Black people poised to occupy four critical positions of power

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In his statement issued Wednesday, Cox struggled with his loss and accused Gov. Larry Hogan (R) of harming his campaign. Hogan, who is weighing a presidential bid, called Cox a “whack job,” said he didn’t think he was mentally stable, and refused to back him.

“We always felt it might be a close race, the outcome was a complete surprise,” Cox said, adding that his internal polling showed that swing voters were pulling his way and that he was expecting a huge Republican turnout. Neither happened.

Cox called former president Donald Trump, who backed his campaign and held a fundraiser at Mar-a-Largo, “an American hero” and thanked him for his support. He said Hogan’s “disrespect of the people of Maryland in his own party will go down in history as disqualifying him from any future office as a Republican.”

A Moore spokesman said Cox and Moore connected during the brief call while discussing one of Cox’s sons, a member of the 82nd Airborne. Moore served as a paratrooper.

Lateshia Beachum contributed to this report.

2022 Maryland Gubernatorial Election: What to know

Races to watch: Wes Moore is projected to become Maryland’s first Black governor. In other historic races, Anthony G. Brown declares victory as Maryland’s first Black attorney, and Aruna Miller will be the state’s first immigrant and first woman of color to serve as lieutenant governor.

Key issues: Maryland’s vote to legalize recreational marijuana is among key issues that residents care about. Here’s what to know about Maryland’s recreational marijuana law.

What’s at stake: Why are midterm elections important? Democrats could dominate all branches of government if they prevail in November, and Republicans hope to keep a seat at the table.