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Through a robust coalition of campaign staff, volunteers and support from dozens of high-profile Democrats, Wes Moore declared victory Saturday to receive the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor.
A few hours before Moore and his running mate, former Del. Aruna Miller, spoke to supporters in Baltimore, former U.S. and state labor secretary Tom Perez conceded as he sat in second place by 27,000 votes.
“I congratulate Wes Moore and Aruna Miller on their hard-fought victory,” Perez said in a statement. “Now is the time for us to unite, and I look forward to aggressively working with them to flip Maryland blue this November.”
Moore, who would be the first African-American gubernatorial candidate ever elected in Maryland, expressed similar sentiments and used words such as “togetherness,” “collaboration” and “civility” for all Democrats to unite and win the November general election.
Those aren’t some of the words Moore used to describe his projected Republican challenger, Del. Dan Cox, who received an endorsement last year from former President Donald Trump.
“He has pledged his unwavering allegiance to Donald Trump. This is a person who has personally organized buses of insurrectionists to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 (2021),” Moore said. “This is a person who has spread Trump’s lie about the 2020 Election and who still to this day, thinks Donald Trump is the president. Dan Cox represents the most extreme fringe of American politics and is so far out of the mainstream that he would be dangerous in the governor’s office.”
Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican whose term expires in January, has called Cox a “QAnon whack job.” Hogan endorsed former state commerce secretary Kelly Schulz, who trailed Cox by almost 32,000 votes Saturday.
The governor posted a message Wednesday on his Twitter page how Trump’s interference in other elections cost Republicans to lose other races nationwide and “selfishly colluded with national Democrats to cost us a Governor’s seat in Maryland…He’s fighting for his ego. We’re fighting to win, and the fight goes on.”
As for Cox, he posted a message on his Twitter account Friday how Moore requested guests for a campaign event this summer to adhere to health protocols and show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
“Our campaign is about your freedom and everyone will be welcome and included regardless of their private health status,” said Cox, who represents portions of Carroll and Frederick counties.
As for Moore, he defeated nine other opponents on the Democratic ballot.
His most successful area came from Prince George’s County, where he secured 45,200 votes as of Saturday.
“It has really been a tremendous opportunity to work alongside them,” County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said about Moore and Miller in Baltimore. “I know they are going to make tremendous leaders for our state. I’m so pleased that Prince Georgians saw it the same way…”
Closer races will still be on hold as the canvassing of mail-in and provisional ballots by local election boards continue, but must be done by July 29.
As of Friday, the state Board of Election sent out 514,000 voters requested ballots with about 282,000 returned.