Democrat Wes Moore has made history in Maryland as the state’s first Black governor, according to a race call by the Associated Press on Tuesday night. He defeated Republican Dan Cox in a state where Democrats outnumbered Republicans 2-1.
Moore is the third African-America voted in as governor in American history.
Only two other Black politicians have ever been elected governor in the United States — Virginia’s Douglas Wilder in 1989, and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts in 2006.
Should Democrat Stacey Abrams win her rematch against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in Georgia, she will be the nation’s first Black woman governor.
After two terms, the husband and father of two’s win puts the governorship back in Democrats’ hands following Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.
Moore, 44, is the son of a single mother Jamaican immigrant. His father died in front of him at age 3 of a misdiagnosed illness.
“I watched my father die when I was three because he didn’t get access to the health care he needed. Too many families have a similar story,” he told ESSENCE. “As governor, I’ll fight every day to ensure that all of our communities have access to quality, affordable healthcare.”
Moore’s running mate, Aruna Miller, a former state delegate, will be the state’s first immigrant and first woman of color to serve as lieutenant governor.
This midterm proved to be a historic night in Maryland. U.S. Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.), became the first Black attorney general, and Del. Brooke E. Lierman (D-Baltimore City) as the first woman to serve as comptroller, according to The Washington Post.
A member of Alpha Phi Alpha and a Rhodes Scholar who served in combat in Afghanistan, Moore spent about six years in finance. He later served as the chief executive officer of the Robin Hood Foundation, a Wall Street-funded nonprofit combating poverty. He also worked in the White House and founded an education startup.
Days before the election he told his constituents there’s “nothing” in his platform that calls for raising taxes “because I do understand how the economy works.”
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