In his first speech on Saturday after winning the Democratic primary for Maryland governor, Wes Moore said his Republican opponent, Trump supported Dan Cox, represents the most extreme fringe of American politics.
“Simply put, he is so far outside of the mainstream that I believe he will be dangerous in the Governor’s office,” Moore said at the press conference at his campaign’s Baltimore field office.
Still, Moore said November’s election isn’t about the former president.
“Abortion access is on the ballot. Public school funding is on the ballot. A $15 minimum wage is on the ballot. The future of our environment is on the ballot,” Moore said.
Cox, a far-right state legislator endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has said President Joe Biden’s victory shouldn’t have been certified and, during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, tweeted that former Vice President Mike Pence was a “traitor.” Cox later deleted the tweet and apologized.
Cox won the Republican primary for Maryland governor on Tuesday, defeating a moderate rival backed by outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan.
Moore, a political novice, was declared the Democratic nominee late Friday night, beating high profile Democrats, including former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Maryland comptroller Peter Franchot.
Moore has promised to reach across the aisle to build a better future for the state.
“Right now we are leaving too many Marylanders behind. Unable to fill the gas tank or keep up with monthly bills. People feeling unsafe in their own communities and people feeling unsafe in their own skin. People who are trapped in schools that are not preparing them for either the jobs of today, or the jobs of tomorrow,” Moore said.
“There is not a single person, a single entity, a single region or frankly a single political party that is going to figure this out. We need them all.”
Moore’s campaign received an early boost from Oprah Winfrey and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland. If elected, he would be the state’s first Black governor.
The combat veteran, Rhodes scholar and bestselling author is a third-generation Marylander who was born in Takoma Park.
Moore has faced questions over his back story, but has dismissed claims that he has exaggerated his personal narrative.
Moore’s running mate is former Maryland state delegate Aruna Miller.