Maryland GOP candidate for governor has a history of pushing QAnon theories

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Maryland state Del. Daniel Cox has also promoted the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen.

Maryland state Del. Daniel Cox (R), now a candidate for governor, has in the past expressed support for the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory.

Cox announced on Sunday that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Maryland. The current governor, Republican Larry Hogan, is term-limited and cannot seek a third consecutive term in office. Two other Republican candidates are currently seeking the nomination and nine Democrats are running for their party's nomination.

Cox, an outspoken supporter of Trump, used the hashtag "WWG1WGA" in an October 2020 tweet that warned that Biden was "dark and oppressed" and would "lock us in our homes."

The acronym "WWG1WGA" stands for "when we go one, we go all" and rose to prominence for its connection to the QAnon conspiracy theory. QAnon devotees believe that celebrities and elected officials are part of a worldwide child trafficking network. Those claims have repeatedly been debunked.

Hogan in January referred to Cox as a "QAnon conspiracy theorist" and criticized the delegate for lawsuits he filed against the state that attacked mask mandates designed to halt the spread of the virus. (Cox also works as a lawyer).

"I know he filed suit against us multiple times, [he’s] a QAnon conspiracy theorist who says crazy things every day," Hogan said of his fellow Republican.

In addition to his QAnon background, Cox called for a "forensic audit of the 2020 election" in the video accompanying the launch of his gubernatorial campaign, a reference to right-wing conspiracy theories that have emerged since Trump lost to Biden.

Many Republicans have been pushing for other states to emulate the flawed election "audit" currently underway in Arizona, led by GOP state lawmakers.

Cox has previously promoted election conspiracies. He organized buses to transport protesters to the "stop the steal" rally in Washington on Jan. 6, and as Trump supporters attacked the Capitol, Cox tweeted, "Pence is a traitor."

The website Maryland Matters noted that on the same day, Cox promoted tweets that falsely claimed antifa was behind the Capitol attack.

Cox later released a statement denouncing the attack after some called for his expulsion from the Maryland General Assembly.

Cox is a former member of Alliance Defending Freedom, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group opposed to LGBTQ rights. In 2017, Cox filed suit against a Maryland high school, alleging that allowing students to use bathrooms aligned with their gender identity violated the rights of a female student.

While the current governor of Maryland is a Republican, it is expected that the seat may tilt toward Democrats. Cook Political Report rates the race as "lean Democratic." In 2020, Maryland overwhelming voted for President Joe Biden over former President Donald Trump, by a margin of 65% to 32%. Both of Maryland's senators are Democrats and seven out of the state's eight House representatives are Democrats.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.