Political newcomer Wes Moore rallied a diverse coalition around ending child poverty, building generational wealth and promising to “leave no one behind” in his bid to become Maryland’s first Black governor, reclaiming the governor’s mansion for Democrats.
The author and former chief of a large poverty-fighting nonprofit amassed endorsements from powerhouses in the state’s Democratic establishment during the primary and was later boosted with star-power support from former president Barack Obama, former U.S. senator Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey.
Moore built a massive war chest to topple Republican Dan Cox, a freshman delegate backed by former president Donald Trump who objected to the certification of President Biden’s 2020 victory. Cox campaigned on restricting abortions, vigorously fought against coronavirus mitigation measures and wanted to limit the role of government.
Moore pledged to help people who are often overlooked, to foster economic opportunity and to protect abortion rights while harnessing concerns about some of Cox’s hard-right views on school curriculums, LGBTQ rights and vaccine mandates.
2022 Maryland midterm election results
- Wes Moore defeated Dan Cox to become Maryland’s first Black governor. Moore’s campaign set high expectations. Here’s what to know about him.
- In 2023, adults over 21 in Maryland can possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana. Here’s what we know.
- A rematch between Rep. David Trone and Del. Neil C. Parrott is the state’s most competitive congressional race.
- Brooke E. Lierman’s win in Maryland’s comptroller race made history — she’s the first woman independently elected to the state office.
- Incumbent Marc Elrich won reelection for a second term as Montgomery county executive in Maryland’s most-populous county. Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks won her reelection bid as well.
His proposals span the political spectrum, from tax cuts to social programs. His goals include creating a “baby bonds” program that would operate like a trust fund for newborns from poor families; developing a program that would allow high school graduates to participate in a year of service; and pouring cash into a state affordable housing program that has not kept pace with demand.
With the Associated Press calling Moore the projected winner on Tuesday, his running mate, Aruna Miller, who immigrated from India at age 7, will be the first woman of color and first immigrant to serve as lieutenant governor in one of the most diverse states in the country.
“We’re not running to make history,” Moore often said on the trail. “We have a unique opportunity to make child poverty history. We have a unique opportunity to make the racial wealth gap history.”
When he takes office, Moore will be faced with figuring out how to deliver on his promises, which will require attacking complex systemic problems that have been intractable in Maryland and across the country.
On the trail, Moore, also a combat veteran and former investment banker, often homed in on his background and what he calls his guiding life principle — that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to succeed and that “no one is left behind.”
Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.), one on a long list of supporters, said during the primary that Moore and Miller commanded attention in an otherwise sleepy contest full of qualified candidates, inspiring “the young and old among us to believe again in things that are possible.”
During the primary, Moore surged past established candidates such as Peter Franchot, a state comptroller who has held elected office almost as long as Moore has been alive, and former U.S. labor secretary Tom Perez, who is entrenched and admired in national party politics. He consolidated support from the state’s Democratic heavy hitters, including House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, state Senate President Bill Ferguson (Baltimore City), House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (Baltimore City) and Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks. He also won one of the biggest and most coveted labor endorsements, from the 76,000-strong state teachers union, and later from the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police.
A Rhodes scholar raised by a single mother, Moore has a résumé that includes time as a White House fellow and as a paratrooper in Afghanistan.
Early during his campaign he was dogged by questions about the compelling life story that launched him into public view. The opening lines on the book jacket of his 2010 bestseller, “The Other Wes Moore,” said he was born in Baltimore.
Moore said the error was made by his publisher, a mistake he asked it to correct.
“I have nothing to exaggerate about my life,” he said.
Moore was 3 when his father died in front of him after he didn’t get the health care he needed for acute epiglottitis. His widowed mother, an immigrant from Jamaica, moved him and his two sisters from Takoma Park, Md., to the Bronx, where they lived with his grandparents, a minister and a longtime educator.
Moore takes pride in his story and in Miller’s.
“People are looking for someone who has worked across sectors to get big things done,” he said in an interview. “Right now, people are not necessarily looking for the same people with the same ideas. They want us to be bold. They want Maryland to do big things.”
The 2022 Midterm Elections
Georgia runoff election: Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D) won re-election in the Georgia Senate runoff, defeating Republican challenger Herschel Walker and giving Democrats a 51st seat in the Senate for the 118th Congress. Get live updates here and runoff results by county.
What the results mean for 2024: A Republican Party red wave seems to be a ripple after Republicans fell short in the Senate and narrowly won control in the House. Donald Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign shortly after the midterms. Here are the top 10 2024 presidential candidates for the Republicans and Democrats.