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Senate Republicans dodge endorsing Cox for governor

Senator Bryan Simonaire (R, Dist. 31, Anne Arundel County) is Minority Leader in the Maryland Senate.
Office of Sen. Simonaire
Senator Bryan Simonaire (R, Dist. 31, Anne Arundel County) is Minority Leader in the Maryland Senate.

Maryland’s Senate Republicans may be resigned to their minority status in the General Assembly, but Bryan Simonaire, the Senate GOP leader, said in a virtual press conference Tuesday they could make a difference if they could just pick up a few more seats in November’s General Election. At the same time, however, he and others on the call avoided endorsing Dan Cox, their party’s Trump endorsed candidate for governor, and Michael Peroutka, the Republican attorney general candidate with ties to the League of the South.

Simonaire said he won’t make endorsements in any of the statewide races.

“We’re solely focused on the Senate races,” Simonaire said. “With just one more seat, we can petition a bill out of committee and keep the Democrats from suspending and changing the rules to get their way. With just a few more seats, we can bring more balance to Senate Committees before the bills even get to the floor.” 

Simonaire represents parts of northern Anne Arundel County and is running for re-election this year. Most people have made up their minds about who they will vote for in presidential or gubernatorial races, but they need a good reason to vote for a state Senate or House of Delegates candidate, he said about lessons learned in previous campaigns.

“It’s not as partisan,” Simonaire said about state Senate races. “So that's what we're focusing on is trying to give people a reason to vote for us. I think through our pledges, I think that's a very good reason to bring some balance back to Annapolis.”

Sen. Chris West, a Baltimore County Republican, said he learned four years ago that it’s pointless for Senate candidates to tie themselves to their party’s nominee for governor because that race doesn’t appear to affect local senate races.

He said he tried to latch on to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s coattails in the last election and “barely squeaked through.”

“So from that, I have learned that in Maryland, I don't believe governors have coattails,” he said. “I think we each have to make our own cases for why we should be elected and win our own elections.”

Joel McCord is a trumpet player who learned early in life that that’s no way to make a living.
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