Is Dan Cox running for Congress?
According to the Federal Election Commission’s website, someone with the same name and post office box as Cox filed paperwork to run for Congress on Monday.
But Cox, a former Republican state delegate and unsuccessful candidate for governor, says it wasn’t him.
“I have made no such filing and Valerie and I have made no decision yet,” Cox wrote in a text message to The Baltimore Banner on Wednesday.
“I did not do so and I intend to take action to find out who did,” Cox wrote.
Cox said he’s emailed the Federal Election Commission and asked them to take down the registration in his name, though it still appeared online on Wednesday.
Cox didn’t respond to questions about how or why he thinks an unauthorized candidate filing could have been done in his name.
A spokesperson for the Federal Elections Commission said they could not comment on any specific candidate’s filings. The commission does have a process for investigating potentially false candidacy filings, including sending verification letters to candidates in question.
Cox is one of several potential 2024 candidates for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, currently held by U.S. Rep. David Trone, a Democrat who is now running for the U.S. Senate.
The district includes part of Montgomery County and all of Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties.
With Trone’s seat opening up, there’s a potential for a contested race, as the district is more politically balanced than the state’s other seven Congressional districts.
The 6th District leans Democratic, but less so than others in the state. The Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index rates the district as Democrat +2, meaning the district slightly favors a Democratic candidate. A larger number indicates a stronger partisan lean.
In last fall’s election, Trone won with nearly 55% of the vote compared to Republican candidate Neil C. Parrott’s 45%.
So far, the Democratic side has drawn candidates including state Del. Lesley Lopez and Del. Joe Vogel from Montgomery County.
Parrott, a former state delegate, has said he’s considering running again on the Republican side. And Cox says he’s thinking about it.
Cox served one term in the House of Delegates, representing parts of Frederick and Carroll counties. He won the 2022 Republican primary for governor but was soundly defeated in the general election by Democrat Wes Moore, 65% to 32%.
Cox is a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, holding a fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Club last year. He has questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election, when Trump was defeated by President Joe Biden.