As results came in from the midterm elections, Maryland bore witness to history as Wes Moore became its first-ever Black governor-elect.
On Tuesday evening, (Nov. 8) as the first results from the midterm elections were publicized, the race for governor in the state of Maryland was called early for Moore, the Democratic nominee. Moore’s win made him the first-ever Black person to be in the position and just the third-ever Black governor in the United States. It is also Moore’s first campaign for public office.
The best-selling author and Rhodes scholar ran with the slogan of “leave no one behind,” inspired by his service as a combat veteran. “We’re not in this race to make history. We’re in this race because we have a unique opportunity to make child poverty history […] We have a unique opportunity to make the racial wealth gap history,” he said in a campaign speech to supporters in October.
Moore’s win in a state long regarded as a Democratic stronghold also coincided with other notable victories which included Aruna Miller, the lieutenant governor-elect who is Indian-American and the first immigrant to hold an office in the state. Moore also has immigrant roots, as his grandparents emigrated from the Jamaica — his grandfather, Rev. Dr. James Thomas, was the first Black minister ever in the Dutch Reformed Church.
The longtime businessman and philanthropist had an early double-digit advantage in polling over his Republican challenger, state delegate Dan Cox. Cox was backed by former President Donald Trump, a coveted endorsement for the far-right politician who also went on the record for being an election denier and supporter of the January 6th insurrectionists.
Cox notably didn’t receive any backing from Larry Hogan, the two-term Republican governor. Moore received significant endorsements from President Joe Biden, who appeared at a rally for his campaign in Rockville in August, and former President Barack Obama, as well as support from Oprah Winfrey.
Cox’s running mate, Gordana Schifanelli, offered her congratulations on Wednesday morning to Moore via Twitter: “Congratulations to @iamwesmoore and @arunamiller on their election victory and I sincerely hope they succeed in their promise to the voters that they will leave no one behind.” Cox has not made any motion to concede the race publicly.
Congrats to Wes Moore.