Former Maryland gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox joins Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano as chief of staff

Dan Cox, the Republican nominee who lost Maryland’s gubernatorial race last year, has teamed up with conservative Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano as his new chief of staff.

Mastriano also came up short as his state’s Republican nominee for governor in November after both he and Cox ran strikingly similar campaigns that supported each other.


Both endorsed by former President Donald Trump, the pair of freshman lawmakers from neighboring states had mirroring campaign platforms that attacked COVID-19 pandemic response measures — such as mask and vaccine mandates — targeted transgender issues in schools and advocated for anti-abortion laws.

2022 Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox.

Cox is a lawyer whose lone four-year term as a Maryland House of Delegates member ended in December. He and his wife, the parents of 10 children, live in Frederick County, just over the border from Mastriano’s district and a relatively short drive to the state Capitol in Harrisburg.


He told The Baltimore Sun he will continue to live in Maryland, where he is also starting a podcast called “It’s Your Freedom!”

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“I am honored to continue our work for freedom and lend my legislative experience as a State Delegate to Senator Mastriano’s team,” Cox said in an email.

Cox’s hiring was not initially announced by Mastriano, who typically shied away from speaking with reporters during his gubernatorial campaign and in his time in the state Senate. Still, Cox appeared in photos Mastriano posted Wednesday on his Facebook page.

Cox’s name has been added to the Pennsylvania Legislature’s online directory, though his salary is not yet listed on the state transparency website that shows state employees’ salaries. Legislative chiefs of staff in the state make anywhere from high five-digit salaries to upward of $170,000.

2022 Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano.

Unlike Maryland’s 90-day session, legislators in Pennsylvania are in session year-round, though they report to Harrisburg for official session days only about 50 to 60 times a year. They make a base salary of nearly $103,000, with leaders earning up to around $160,000.

Cox lost last year’s governor’s race by 32 percentage points, giving Democrat Wes Moore the largest margin of victory for a governor in Maryland since 1986. Political observers largely attributed the massive loss to Cox’s connection with Trump, whose Florida home he traveled to in late October for a fundraiser, and his far-right platform.

He and Mastriano became strong allies and interacted frequently during the election cycle. They endorsed each other and attended the same events, including a gathering last spring in Gettysburg that featured QAnon themes and political “prophecies.”

Democratic Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro went on to defeat Mastriano by nearly 15 percentage points in that state’s gubernatorial race.