**FILE** Maryland Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wes Moore (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** Maryland Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wes Moore (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

Maryland gubernatorial nominees Wes Moore (D) and Dan Cox (R) faced one another on Oct. 12 in their first general election debate, presented on Maryland Public Television (MPT). 

Both candidates met the qualifying criteria including receiving 10% or more of the vote in a nonpartisan poll. Polling has shown that the major issues on the minds of voters include the economy and taxes, threats to democracy and crime.

The debate served to be the only one of this election cycle. 

The campaign of Wes Moore declined to appear in a FOX 5 debate in late September, saying it did not want to give Cox a platform to amplify his far-right views including his presence on January 6 during the insurrection and his opposition to vaccines.

The first MPT debate of this cycle, held during the primary election race on June 6, featured eight of the 10 active candidates for governor. At least 117,000 viewers watched the MPT debate between Republican Governor Larry Hogan and Democratic nominee Ben Jealous in 2018, and at least 99,000 viewers watched the 2014 general election debate between then-Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Republican nominee Larry Hogan. 

Recent polling has Moore with a 32-point lead, more than double Cox’s polling numbers. At last report, Moore also held a 10-to-1 fundraising advantage. 

Vote by mail ballots have already been sent to voters with early voting being held from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3. Election Day will be Tuesday, Nov. 8. Following a recent court ruling, mailed ballots will be counted before Election Day.

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