The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Wes Moore wins coveted endorsement in Maryland governor’s race

The state’s largest teachers union also threw support behind Lierman in the comptroller’s race and Brown for attorney general

Maryland gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore, the former CEO of the anti-poverty nonprofit Robin Hood. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore on Saturday won the coveted endorsement of the state’s largest teachers union, a large boost for the former nonprofit chief who is making his first run for public office.

The support from the Maryland State Education Association, a 76,000-member union, is sought after in state Democratic politics and comes as the crowded race for the Democratic nomination begins to intensify.

Union leaders said they were drawn to Moore’s “personal history as a Marylander” and his commitment that aligns with the union’s goals for a “world class education for every student.”

“Our students and communities need leadership committed to the promise that no matter their neighborhood they will have the same opportunity to reach their potential,” union president Cheryl Bost said in a statement. “Wes Moore has demonstrated a commitment to unite people whom he leads in the fight for racial, social justice, and to give educators a voice in the decisions and policies that affect education.”

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The backing from the MSEA is the latest high-profile endorsement for Moore, who picked up support from Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) last month.

Every Democratic candidate that has won MSEA’s endorsement in recent memory has won the party’s nomination, according to a union official.

MSEA also threw its support behind U.S. Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.) in his bid for state attorney general and Del. Brooke Lierman (D-Baltimore City) in her race for state comptroller.

Moore received 85 percent of delegates’ votes — well above the 58 percent needed to secure the endorsement. Brown won 96 percent of the vote in a race against former judge and first lady Katie O’Malley, and Lierman captured 98 percent of delegates’ votes in a primary contest against Bowie Mayor Tim Adams.

Eleven Democrats have filed to succeed term-limited Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Nine of them completed the process to obtain the endorsement and addressed the union’s assembly Saturday.

The Maryland primary is scheduled for July 19.