Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox will get a fundraising boost from former President Donald J. Trump.
Trump is hosting a fundraiser with Cox at the former president’s Mar-A-Lago Club in Florida on Oct. 17, according to a photo of the invitation obtained by The Baltimore Banner.
The Cox campaign did not respond on Thursday to questions from The Baltimore Banner.
The invitation states that guests can pay $1,776 to attend a “private cocktail reception” and a picture with Trump and Cox requires a “$25,000 raise.”
Maryland law limits campaign donors to giving no more than $6,000 to a candidate in a four-year campaign cycle, indicating it’s possible that some of the money will be kept by Trump instead of funding Cox’s campaign. Trump has not yet announced whether he’ll run for president in 2024.
A spokesman for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wes Moore said Cox’s efforts to “cozy up” to Trump are bad for Maryland.
“Election deniers stick together, and now Dan Cox is going all the way down to Florida with less than 5 days left in the election to kiss the ring,” Moore spokesman Carter Elliott IV said in a statement. “These men aren’t patriots, they’re a danger to our democracy.”
Trump endorsed Cox before the Republican primary and called into a Cox campaign rally in June. Trump also spoke on Cox’s behalf during a telephone rally.
And at an event for Pennsylvania Republican candidates in Wilkes-Barre earlier this month, Trump mentioned Cox, saying the candidate is someone he is “very proud of.”
“Maryland has a great man running, and I hope you’re going to do well, and we’re going to be out there helping you,” Trump said.
Cox has long been a supporter of Trump and his website used to say he was “a Philadelphia team member of lawyers for Trump Presidential campaign for three weeks during the 2020 election fighting for every legal vote to count.”
As for his own election, Cox has not given clear answers when asked if he intends to accept the outcome of this year’s election in Maryland.
New polling indicates that Cox has significant ground to make up behind Moore. Moore had 53% support among likely voters polled by Goucher College this month, compared to 31% for Cox. Only 9% were undecided in the poll, which was conducted in partnership with The Baltimore Banner and WYPR radio.
Cox also faces a fundraising deficit for the general election going against Moore. As of late August, Cox and his running mate Gordana Schifanelli had less than $300,000 combined in their campaign accounts, according to their reports.
Moore and his running mate Aruna Miller had more than $1.3 million in the bank, and they’ve been steadily picking up checks on the fundraising circuit this fall.
Cox isn’t the only candidate in Maryland getting presidential attention.
President Joe Biden headlined an event in Montgomery County in August that was mostly focused on rallying Democrats in general for the fall election. But Biden also praised Moore, saying, “Wes is the real deal. The real deal.”
“Folks, he’s a combat veteran. Only drawback is he’s a Rhodes scholar. Former CEO of one of the biggest anti-poverty organizations in America,” Biden said. “And if we all do our part, the next governor of Maryland.”
Moore was given a prime spot just before the president and delivered his stump speech to a raucous crowd of about 2,400 people in a high school gym, as well as another 1,200 who watched from overflow rooms.