Here are Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman’s remarks at the beginning of the inaugural ceremony Wednesday for Gov. Wes Moore.
My name is Steuart Pittman. I am the tenth and current County Executive of The Best Place For All, the crossroads of Maryland, and the seat of state Government, Anne Arundel County.
I have been asked to facilitate this historic occasion, to introduce our speakers, encourage them to be brief, and model that behavior myself.
A Master of Ceremonies has a task to complete and must hide his or her emotions. I apologize in advance for my failure to do that. This is a joyous day. I have a handkerchief, and I plan to use it.
You see, I have roots in this county and this state, and today has been a long time coming.
I am a direct descendant of a man named Dr. George Hume Steuart who arrived here from Scotland in 1721, purchased land, and made his fortune in the tobacco industry on the backs of enslaved men, women, and children from Africa.
Dr. Steuart was also a politician, serving as Mayor of Annapolis and as a delegate to the colony’s General Assembly. He lived in a house on land that later became the site of Government House, the Governor’s residence. He lived right there.
Three hundred years later, on Sept. 8, 2021, when I stood a few steps from that house behind a podium alongside a magnificent new friend named Wes Moore, in the presence of his wife Dawn, his mother Joy, his grandmother Mama Win, his sisters Shani and Nikki, and my daughter Jesse, the magic of what this day could mean, the healing that this election could offer, was presented as if by a higher power, like a portal to a brighter future.
But I did not join Team Moore on that day simply to send a message to my ancestors, as sweet as that message may be.
I joined for the same reason most Marylanders joined.
I, like you, was yearning for a leader who would listen. And a human being to remind us what it means to be human. It’s just that simple.
We found one. And that is why we’re here.
Watching Wes build the team that catapulted him from the single-digit support he had when I endorsed him to the most votes of any Governor in the history of our state was a window into what will begin tomorrow morning, when the crowds disperse and the work begins.
Maryland will learn that we really can get both heart and mind in one body.
That we can grow our economy and leave no one behind.
That work, wages, and wealth are still the path to progress.
And that government is not the source of our problems, it’s the tool that works when we sharpen it, sharpen it with the world-class talent that will serve in this administration.
We are such a lucky state today.
But we aren’t here just to inaugurate Wes Moore. We have a dynamic duo coming to town.
We are welcoming back to Annapolis and back to state government service, former Delegate and very soon-to-be Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller, a woman who brought an infectious energy, joy, and confidence to the campaign, and whose experience and wisdom will carry this administration through whatever challenges our times present.
Finally, I think it is fitting that after so many months of Wes and Aruna listening to us, that we show them that we have also heard their words, particularly the four words that appeared on the thousands of yard signs all across our state. You know the ones I’m talking about.
I will count to three, and then we will shout those words together three times. We want them to be heard at the very top of the Capitol dome so that they hover there forever and remind all who enter of the commitment we have made to the people of Maryland. You ready? One, two, three, Leave No One Behind. Leave No One Behind. Leave No One Behind.