In Maryland, Wes Moore elected as state’s first Black governor

A man speaks behind a lectern.
Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore speaks at a rally on Aug. 26, 2022.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Democrat Wes Moore has been elected Maryland’s first Black governor.

Moore, a bestselling author in his first run for public office, defeated Republican Dan Cox in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1.

Moore’s victory flips a governor’s office from Republican to Democratic. Of the 36 governor’s races this year, Maryland and Massachusetts represented one of the best chances for Democrats to regain a governor’s office at a time when the GOP holds a 28-22 edge in governor’s seats.

With the slogan “leave no one behind,” the former combat veteran and former chief executive of one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty organizations campaigned on creating equal opportunity for Maryland residents.


“This can be Maryland’s moment,” Moore said in a debate last month. “We have amazing people and incredible potential, but not everybody’s in a position to succeed.”

Moore, 44, defeated a first-term state legislator who was endorsed by former President Trump, who received only 32% of the vote in Maryland in the 2020 presidential election.

During their only debate, Moore criticized Cox for attending the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021, before Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Moore described Cox as “an extremist election denier whose rhetoric and his policies are not only dangerous and divisive, but will take our state backwards.”

Moore will replace Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who is term-limited.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep Anthony G. Brown also is hoping to make history by becoming the state’s first Black attorney general. Brown, a three-term Democratic congressman representing a majority-Black district in the suburbs of the nation’s capital, served as lieutenant governor for eight years. He lost the 2014 governor’s race to Hogan before winning his U.S. House seat.

Brown is running against Republican Michael Peroutka, a former Anne Arundel County Council member.

A Republican has not been elected attorney general in Maryland since 1919. Edward D.E. Rollins was the last Republican to serve in the office after being appointed to it in 1952.


In another open statewide race, Democrat Brooke Lierman is running against Republican Barry Glassman for comptroller, which is the state’s tax collector. The comptroller holds one of three positions on the state’s powerful Board of Public Works, along with the governor and state treasurer.