New Maryland Gov. Wes Moore celebrates inauguration at Baltimore ball: ‘Party responsibly. You all earned that.’

Wes Moore had tried to picture his inauguration since he was elected in November.

But the governor said the day was somehow even bigger —emotionally — than he imagined.


Arriving at his inauguration night “People’s Ball” in his tuxedo, the Democrat called the day “overwhelming” and said he couldn’t help but reflect “on how much work went into it” and how many Marylanders were involved “to make a day like today happen.”

Moore, Maryland’s first Black governor, told reporters he was also thinking about other Black elected officials from the state who came before him, naming, among others, U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume, state Attorney General Anthony Brown and former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele.


“The history-making aspect of it sits on my shoulders,” the governor said.

But for Moore and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller, Wednesday night’s party at the Baltimore Convention Center was about stepping back — and stepping out — to celebrate.

“You all came out tonight!” Moore told the packed crowd inside the cavernous main hall. “I’ve done a fair bit of speaking today,” he said, adding that now was the time to celebrate.

“Party! Party responsibly,” he said. “You all earned that. Wear comfortable shoes.”

Entertainer Chris Tucker followed Moore, saying, “Give it up for your new governor!”

Moore and his wife slow-danced onstage and shared a long kiss after his remarks.

Miller also thanked the crowd.

“You’re thrilled to see all the support you get. And the governor just gave me a tour of his new residence,” the lieutenant governor told reporters earlier.


Her long, flowing dress was designed by Sachin & Babi, a New York-based fashion house founded by a couple from India. The lieutenant governor immigrated to the United States from India at age 7.

About 8,000 people were expected to attend the ball, according to Moore spokesperson Carter Elliott. Because of demand, the staff created an overflow room where an additional 3,000 watched on a monitor.

The enthusiastic crowd was packed shoulder to shoulder even the length of half a football field from the stage.

Early party attendees showed up dressed to the nines, many sporting sequined floor-length gowns or jackets.

Artist Demont Pinder was making a live painting of Moore toward the front of the stage.

Notable politicians, including Baltimore Comptroller Bill Henry, moved their way toward the dance floor.


Both of Maryland’s Democratic U.S. senators, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, were scheduled to attend, according to their staffs. Others at the party included state House Majority Whip Jazz Lewis, state Sens. Clarence Lam and Shelly Hettleman and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman. All are Democrats.