Gov.-elect Wes Moore will be inaugurated as the state’s 63rd — and first Black — chief executive in a historic ceremony at the Maryland State House in Annapolis on Wednesday afternoon.
A first-time holder of public office, Moore will have a steep learning curve as he pulls up a chair to the governor’s desk. But he has a wealth of experience in public service and from the private sector to pull from and allies in the General Assembly to help guide the way.
Here are five things to know about Maryland’s next governor:
A first-time elected official
Moore is an Army combat veteran with an extensive resume in the private sector, but has never been elected to public office.
Among his former roles, Moore was a Rhodes scholar, served in Afghanistan as an Army officer, was a White House fellow in the State Department, interned for the Department of Homeland Security, worked as an investment banker, wrote a bestselling book and headed the Robin Hood Foundation, a large anti-poverty nonprofit.
Maryland’s first and America’s only
After he is inaugurated as Maryland’s first Black governor, Moore will be the only currently serving Black governor and the third elected to the position in U.S. history.
Lawrence Douglas Wilder became the first Black governor when he was elected as the chief executive of Virginia in 1989. The second was Deval Patrick, who was the governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015.
D.C.-born, New York-raised
Moore lived in Takoma Park in Montgomery County until he was 3. After the death of his father, he and his family moved to the Bronx, where he spent most of his childhood.
Moore returned to Maryland at 16 and lived in Pasadena in Anne Arundel County. He attended Valley Forge Military College and the Johns Hopkins University and studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar.
He, his wife, Dawn Flythe Moore, and their two children are leaving Baltimore to live in Government House in Annapolis after his inauguration.
A New York Times-bestselling author with famous friends
Maryland Policy & Politics
Moore received national acclaim for his first book titled “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates,” a comparison between his life path and that of a man bearing the same name who was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his participation in the murder of an off-duty Baltimore County police sergeant.
Moore’s book debuted at No. 5 on The New York Times’ bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction after its publication in 2010, and brought many other opportunities his way, including an appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s daytime talk show. He has also appeared on “Super Soul Sunday” on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Moore went on to host “Beyond Belief,” which aired 10 episodes on Winfrey’s network in 2012. Winfrey co-hosted a campaign fundraiser with Moore in June and narrated a TV and digital ad for the governor-elect that aired across the state in July.
Quiet on policy
While Moore has publicized several of his priorities, such as providing a service-year option for high school graduates, he has kept his legislative and budgetary priorities to himself ahead of his inauguration.
He has even evaded going into detail about policy that he was vocal about on the campaign trail, including his promise to release $3.5 million in state funds approved last year to train additional clinicians to perform abortions on his first day in office.
Outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan withheld the funding in spite of pleas from state lawmakers to release it in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June striking down Roe v. Wade.
Pressed last week during a forum hosted by The Daily Record, Moore would not say when he planned to release the money. Presiding officers in the General Assembly have said publicly that they anticipate the funding to be released shortly after he takes office.