According to CNN, Democrat Wes Moore will be elected governor of Maryland, making history as the first Black person to hold the office.
He will defeat Republican state delegate Dan Cox, a hardcore conservative who supported former president Donald Trump and denied the results of the election. A moderate Republican governor named Larry Hogan, who is stepping down, did not support Cox, who had defeated Hogan’s preferred replacement in the Republican primary in July.
Moore will be just the third Black American to be elected governor in US history, after Virginia’s Douglas Wilder, who was elected to a term in 1989, and Massachusetts’ Deval Patrick, who was first elected in 2006 and served two terms. Two others, New York’s David Paterson, who served from 2008 to 2010, and Louisiana’s Pinckney Pinchback, who served for a little over a year between 1872 and 1873, were elevated to the governorship after their predecessors resigned or were driven out. Pinchback was a Republican, but the other three Black governors were Democrats.
The largest anti-poverty foundation in New York City, the Robin Hood Foundation, was run by Moore, a Rhodes scholar and former White House fellow. His 2010 book “The Other Wes Moore,” an inspirational tale of two boys with the same name and connections to Baltimore, brought him widespread acclaim.
The first-time candidate is also a veteran, having served in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division as a captain and paratrooper, where he oversaw troops engaged in battle in Afghanistan.
Before winning the crowded Democratic primary in July, Moore had the support of mainstream Democrats including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Oprah Winfrey.
Moore, who was widely regarded as the clear favourite to win in the solidly blue state, took part in just one discussion with Cox, which was televised by Maryland Public Television on October 12. During this debate, the two argued over policies and exchanged insults.
Moore referred to Cox as a “extreme election denier” and cited a tweet from the Republican nominee where Cox boasted about financing buses for Trump’s rally on January 6, 2021 after the 2020 election. “#StoptheSteal,” Cox tweeted, was the reason for his actions.
Moore retorted, “That’s not accurate,” in response to Cox’s claim that he wanted to “defund the police.”
Aruna Miller, a former state delegate who fled India with her family as a young girl, is Moore’s running mate and will become the state of Maryland’s first Asian American lieutenant governor. In the Old Line State, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run on the same ticket.