Wes Moore makes history as Maryland’s first Black governor as he was sworn in during a ceremony at the state’s capitol building in Annapolis on Wednesday (Jan. 18).
Moore was introduced by Oprah Winfrey. “This might be his first day as an elected official, but Wes Moore has been a public servant his entire adult life,” she said of the 44-year-old Democrat. “And there’s so much more to come. He’s just getting started.”
Moore was sworn in using two Bibles, one of which belonged to Frederick Douglass. In his inaugural speech, he mentioned that Maryland is one of the wealthiest states in the nation, but also described it as “asset-rich and strategy poor.” “It is time for our policies to be as bold as our aspirations — and to confront the fact that we have been offered false choices. We do not have to choose between a competitive economy and an equitable one,” he said.
He closed off his remarks with, “If we are divided, we cannot win. If we are united, we cannot lose. Our time is now to build a state for those who came before us, that fought for [us]. This is not a slogan. It is a fulfillment of a hope.”
The new governor wasn’t the only one who made history in Maryland that day. Aruna Miller became the state’s first Black woman and first immigrant to take on the role as his lieutenant governor. Anthony G. Brown became Maryland’s first Black attorney general and Brooke Lierman became the first woman to serve as comptroller, earlier this month.
Moore, who has never been in a public office before now, won by a landslide in November. He won the Democratic primary in July before winning the general election by more than 30 percent against Republican Dan Cox, who was endorsed by Former President Donald Trump.
Moore is a bestselling author and former CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, an anti-poverty nonprofit. He also is a Rhodes scholar and an army veteran who served in Afghanistan.