2022 Voter Guide: Wes Moore, candidate for Maryland Governor

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Maryland Governor

Wes Moore

Aruna Miller



Baltimore City

Candidate for governor, former CEO, combat veteran, and small business owner.

After graduating high school at Valley Forge Military Academy, Wes graduated with an Associate's Degree from Valley Forge Military College in 1998 and then Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001. He then went on to become a Rhodes scholar at Wolfson College, Oxford, earning his Master's in International Relations.

Although my career has not yet led me to public office, it has led me through every sector of the American economy. I volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan, where I led soldiers in combat as a captain and a paratrooper. I built and ran a small business in Baltimore focused on helping first-generation college students succeed — helping to improve retention rates by 20%. In my most recent role as CEO of one of the largest anti-poverty nonprofits in the United States, we invested over $600 million, created the first public policy wing in the 30-year-history of the organization, and worked the halls of government advocating for the child tax credit, better pay for child care providers, and fighting hospital networks who sued COVID patients. Above all, we were data-driven and heart-led; we found what works, we invested in it, and we scaled it.

Why are you running for office?

I'm running for governor because this is a moment when we are at an inflection point. We've been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand economic opportunity — to change the realities my mother lived through, my grandparents lived through, is a core part of why I'm running for governor. It's the North Star of my campaign — to create work, wages, and wealth, with a focus on equity, for every family in Maryland. I know firsthand what it's like to grow up struggling right here in Maryland and in a system that works well for some and leaves others behind. As governor, I'm going to build an economy where every family can thrive by accelerating the minimum wage increase to $15 by 2023, creating strong pathways to the workforce with job training and apprenticeships, and I'm going to set students up for success by fully funding and implementing the Blueprint.

What is the most pressing issue in Maryland and what are your plans to address it?

Creating opportunities for people to step into better jobs, earn higher wages, and build wealth that people can pass down to their children — especially for underserved communities - is the North Star that will guide my administration when I'm governor. I will create opportunities for work through strengthening affordable pathways to higher education and fixing our broken child care system. I will secure better wages by raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023 and addressing wage theft hurting workers. And I will ensure that every Marylander has opportunities to create wealth by making housing more affordable, and ensuring procurement agencies reach their goals for Minority Business Enterprise contracts. We must use this once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a stronger, more inclusive economy for every Marylander. Together we will create a brighter future for Maryland.

What should the state do to reduce violent crime in and around Baltimore?

I'm proud to be the first candidate to release a comprehensive public safety plan, because I recognize keeping people safe is the first and highest responsibility of any chief executive. I believe in policing with maximum accountability and appropriate intensity, bringing together federal, state, and local resources together to prevent crime. We need to invest in proven community-based violence intervention programs that deal with all levels of trauma and build strong partnerships with communities and law enforcement to identify individuals at-risk of violence, connect them to essential resources and interrupt lethal cycles of violence. And finally, our administration will reform Maryland's probation and parole system by filling every vacant position, ensuring strong supervision of high-risk individuals, and leveraging local offices to connect people to behavioral health treatment, housing, and employment. When I am governor, I will act swiftly and with urgency to keep Marylanders safe.

What are your top three priorities for transportation in Maryland, and how would you fund them?

Access to quality, reliable transportation is key to connecting Marylanders to opportunities and it will be a top priority for the Moore-Miller administration in a manner that prioritizes equity, community voice, and increasing economic opportunity. As governor, I will leverage the billions of federal dollars coming to Maryland to build an efficient and equitable transportation system that unharnesses economic growth in our region, protects our environment and our neighbors, and connects people with employers, driving billions in new investments to Maryland. This includes building the Red Line and making other improvements to the state's mass transit system, like approving commuter rail stations in West Baltimore, Bayview, and other historically neglected communities to provide people with access to employment.

What should Maryland schools do differently during the next pandemic?

Our educators worked their hearts out since the start of the pandemic despite being left underresourced and overworked. As a result, educator shortages and learning disruptions have left our school system unprepared to deliver the world-class education our students deserve. Our administration will always act decisively to ensure a better public health response, keep students safely in the classroom, and provide our educators with the resources needed to support our students' social-emotional needs. I'm also proud to have the endorsement of the Maryland State Education Association and the 76,000 education professionals they represent because they recognize my commitment to creating a world-class education system that invests in our students from cradle to career. As Maryland's next governor, I will always work closely with our educators, families, public health experts, and communities to address the challenges facing our schools and ensure that every student is positioned for a bright future.

What are your plans for the state’s property taxes?

I support reforming Maryland's tax system to make them more streamlined and ensure that everyone pays their fair share, but being competitive is not just about taxes. We have to create more support for our businesses by providing equitable access to transportation that is reliable and gets people to work, building an education system that is creating pipelines for our businesses, and addressing public safety because if people do not feel safe, they will not stay or come to Maryland. It also means addressing affordable housing. And what is unique about this moment is that we have billions of dollars coming in from the federal government. We have $3.7 billion in discretionary capital coming in from ARPA, more than $6 billion in our structural surplus, and new revenue streams coming in, but it also means that we need the leadership and the determination to do so.

How equitably do police officers treat people of color?

Our ability to keep our communities safe relies on a strong foundation of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. For too long, that trust has been fractured, and as governor I am committed to working with community members, local leaders and diverse stakeholders to rebuild it. That means getting back to our roots of community policing where law enforcement engage with communities outside of crises, and it also means strong accountability if officers act outside policy or the law. I believe that it's important to recruit and prepare law enforcement officers from the communities they will serve. That's why, as governor, I will set aside federal funds that local agencies can apply for to deploy training on diversity, equity, and inclusion and implement stronger recruitment and hiring practices including programs that engage young people in schools about the possibility of a career in law enforcement.

What would you do to make sure Maryland’s voting system is secure and accurate?

We need to ensure that voting in Maryland is easy and safe for everyone. Here in Maryland, we still deal with attacks on our basic democratic rights and values. So we have to fight for support in early voting systems, mail-in balloting and making sure people can vote without fear of intimidation or retribution. I am proud of the legislature for recently expanding access to voting for voters currently incarcerated for a misdemeanor and formerly incarcerated people, as well as passing a law greatly expanding voter education. As governor, I will always stand as a brick wall against any attacks to voting rights and will work to continue the progress of the legislature in making voting rights more accessible.

What are the right goals and deadlines for Maryland to reduce carbon emissions and develop renewable energy sources?

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to decarbonize our state, create thousands of good-paying jobs in the green economy, and protect consumers. We will re-establish Maryland as the leader we should be by charging ahead with comprehensive planning, aggressive targets with implementable policy measures, and strong enforcement and accountability measures to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and 100% clean energy by 2035. That means dramatically increasing investments in solar, wind, cleaner transportation systems, and other current and emerging clean energy technologies because right now, only 11% of Maryland's energy generation is from renewables, and over 75% of our state's renewable energy comes from other states. Offshore wind alone has the potential to power a third of our state's total energy demand, equivalent to powering every home in the state. It's time to get these great ideas off the drawing table and into action. We need to act.

What are Gov. Larry Hogan’s best and worst policies?

Our state is remarkably asset rich, but for too long we've been strategy poor. Governor Hogan has failed to lean in on the key issues needed to move Maryland forward. Our high unemployment and crime rates are clear examples of this. We have 148,000 Marylanders out of work despite having more than two unfilled positions for every unemployed resident. In 2020 alone, Maryland had 573 homicides and over half of them came from just one jurisdiction: the City of Baltimore. And rather than stepping up to help local governments, we saw the pointing fingers and the shifting of blame. When I'm governor we won't turn a blind eye to the issues plaguing our communities, our motto will be "leave nobody behind" and I will work directly with the legislature and our communities to solve these challenges and create a brighter future for every Maryland family.

Baltimore Sun Media's voter guide allows candidates to provide their background, policy and platforms on issues, in their own words. Any questions or feedback can be sent to, or read more about the questionnaire process here.