Governor Wes Moore marked six months in office as the 63rd governor of Maryland. He entered politics as a political outsider, with no prior experience in elected office. Despite starting with low poll numbers, Moore’s impressive background as a Rhodes scholar, Afghanistan War veteran, best-selling author, and CEO of an anti-poverty foundation, coupled with his charisma and effective campaign style, helped him secure the Democratic nomination in a crowded primary field. In the general election, Moore defeated a Republican candidate closely aligned with former President Donald Trump to become Maryland’s first Black governor.
Moore’s success can be attributed to his strong fundraising skills and the support of his well-connected campaign team. His extensive network, built from his various professional roles, resulted in a significant fundraising advantage compared to his rivals, including former Obama Cabinet members Tom Perez and John King. Moore’s financial advantage, coupled with his compelling biography, resonated with voters and helped him gain momentum during the campaign. Additionally, endorsements from state Democratic Party leaders, including prominent members of the congressional delegation and top leaders of the Maryland General Assembly, further boosted Moore’s campaign.
Moore’s historic win as the third Black person to be elected governor in the United States since the Reconstruction Era led to speculation about his future political ambitions, including a potential presidential run. However, Moore has expressed his commitment to serving two terms as governor of Maryland and focusing on addressing child poverty and racial wealth disparities. Throughout his campaign, Moore emphasized a message of inclusivity and working towards a more equitable society.
Moore’s candidacy followed a trend of Democrats nominating Black candidates for the governorship in Maryland, a state with a significant Black population. Previous Democratic nominees, Anthony Brown in 2014 and Ben Jealous in 2018, faced challenges that Moore was able to overcome. Moore’s moderate stance and broader appeal allowed him to connect with a wide range of voters, including the moderate base of Black voters.
While Moore has proposed liberal initiatives to address economic inequalities, such as a “baby bonds” program, he has resisted the idea of tax increases to fund these initiatives. Instead, he has emphasized the need for smarter application of existing capital and has suggested examining the elimination of estate or inheritance taxes to make Maryland more attractive to retirees.
Despite his successful campaign, Moore faced criticism and controversy during the election. There were suggestions that aspects of his resume, including his best-selling book, “The Other Wes Moore,” had been embellished. Moore addressed these concerns, attributing the mistakes to his publisher and maintaining the accuracy of his life’s story. He also faced challenges regarding his Baltimore origins, as he was actually born in Takoma Park, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Moore’s childhood was marked by tragedy when his father passed away when he was just three years old. He went on to attend private school in the Bronx, where he struggled academically and behaviorally before finding a path to success.
As Governor Wes Moore continues his term, he remains committed to his goal of addressing socioeconomic disparities and creating a more equitable Maryland.