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Wes Moore Wins Democratic Nomination for Governor of Maryland

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Wes Moore, a bestselling author who gained high-profile celebrities and political support, is projected by the Associated Press to win the Democratic nomination for governor of Maryland, setting up a battle between a state legislator who convened the Make America Great Again base and a charismatic political newcomer who, if elected, would be the state’s first black president.

Moore defeated two Obama cabinet secretaries and two more candidates with multiple statewide wins to get out of a crowded Democratic field.

About two out of three Democrats chose someone else, and Moore will have to win them. In November, Moore is poised to take on Dan Cox, a freshman lawmaker backed by Donald Trump, who claims the 2020 presidential election has been “stolen” as he attempts to return the governor’s mansion to Democrats. after two terms under Larry Hogan (R) administration.

If elected in November, Moore, 43, a former nonprofit leader, would become only the third black governor to be elected in the country’s history. He kicked off the party’s grassroots in the most diverse state on the East Coast with a message of justice and opportunity for all.

“I know a lot of people thought this was an unlikely journey, but the reality is that our lives, for so many of us, has been an unlikely journey,” Moore told a cheering crowd of supporters of different ages and races late Tuesday. in Baltimore, as the results showed he was leading the 10-person race. “I was almost 4 years old when my father died in front of me because he was not getting the health care he needed. … So much about all our travels is unlikely.”

Moore’s lead cemented after election officials across the state began counting the hundreds of thousands of ballots cast in the mail, leading him to believe in former U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Comptroller Peter Franchot, former U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., former Attorney General General Douglas Gansler, and others.

Republicans will likely take to the questions raised by rivals during the Democratic campaign that Moore wasn’t doing enough to rectify misconceptions about his compelling personal story.

Ultimately, the race turned into a two-man race between Moore and Perez.

Maryland primaries results 2022

While others had more experience, more labor support, or stronger support from liberal groups, Moore had a larger war chest, coveted endorsement from the state’s powerful teachers’ union, and the support of nearly all of the state’s top Democratic officials.

Mileah Kromer, a political science professor at Goucher College, said there is a “near impossible road” to victory for Cox — who Vice President Mike Pence called a “traitor” on Twitter on Jan. 6, 2021 (he later expressed regret). for his choice of words) – in a state where the number of registered Democrats is 2 to 1 greater than Republicans. Kromer, who conducts the polls, said none of the Goucher polls show Trump as a popular figure among Democrats or independents in Maryland.

Kromer said Moore’s ability to raise money and build a coalition makes him “incredibly formidable.” He would have been formidable even against Kelly Schulz,” a former member of Hogan’s cabinet, who was supported by the governor and defeated by Cox.

Moore’s supporters include Maryland insiders such as Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County), and wealthy outsiders such as Spike Lee and Oprah Winfrey, who befriended Moore about a decade ago after the publication of his book ” The Other Wes Moore.” Winfrey, who shot radio and TV ads for Moore, was the special guest at a virtual fundraiser that raised more than $100,000 in the final weeks of the campaign.

The historic prospect of Moore’s candidacy carries a shadow and a challenge: Only recently have Democrats nominated black candidates for governor, and the latter two haven’t won the job even as they took more of the electorate.

Moore is the third black candidate to win the Democratic nomination in the past three election cycles. Former Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown lost to Hogan in 2014 and, in his bid for reelection, Hogan defeated former NAACP President Ben Jealous in 2018.

This spring, a prolific Democratic donor and state party official questioned the eligibility of black governor candidates. In an email sent to party insiders to build support for Perez, Barbara Goldberg Goldman, then the state party’s deputy treasurer, wrote: “Think: Three African-American men have moved statewide. ran for governor and lost. Maryland is not a blue state. It’s a purple one. This is a fact that we should not ignore.”

Goldberg Goldman resigned after the email went public.

Jealous has ridiculed the idea that black candidates in the state of Maryland can’t win. Jealous won more than 1 million votes in his botched bid — a figure that likely would have resulted in a win, he said, had his opponent not been a popular incumbent.

After Cox’s win late Tuesday, the Cook Political Report, which assesses political races, reclassified the race from “lean Democrat” to “solid Democrat.”

“The bottom line is that Republicans may have had a chance, but now this race is off the table for them,” said Jessica Taylor, an editor at Cook.

Cox prepares for battle. On Thursday, he emailed a letter to supporters with the subject line: “Moore is LESS for Maryland.”

“Our governor is refusing to support us, which means that we, the people, have to work extra hard to make sure he and his friends don’t hand over our state to the hard left,” the email read.

Moore was on track to take decisive wins in Baltimore City and Prince George and Baltimore counties, and to come a distant second in Montgomery County, home to four of the top contenders.

During his year-long campaign, Moore, a Rhodes scholar, war veteran, and former investment banker, often delved into his upbringing and the opportunities presented to him, informing “The Other Wes Moore,” the book that launched his national profile.

Along the way, he had to resist accusations that he exaggerated his biography and failed to correct details about his life. In the spring, an anonymous political file surfaced that accused Moore of falsely implying that he was born in Baltimore and embellishing the hardships he and his mother endured during his childhood.

Several published articles and interviewers over the years repeated inaccurate details about Moore that went uncorrected for years. Moore denied ever misrepresenting himself and in an interview accused his opponents of fomenting the issue to block his turnout.

Some Democrats feared that Moore’s past would become ready-made ammunition for Republicans to use in general elections, raising the party’s chances of winning.

Despite the questions, Moore’s candidacy continued to gain momentum with additional approvals from elected officials and more money in his coffers.

Susie Turnbull, who was Jealous’ running mate for governor in 2018 and campaigned for Moore, summed up Moore’s appeal:

“In 2000 the question was: ‘Who do you want to have a beer with?’ she said. Now, ‘After all we’ve been through, it’s, ‘Who do you want to hug?’ ”

Eva Herscowitz contributed to this report.

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