Within minutes of polls closing, Democrat Wes Moore was projected as the winner of Maryland’s governor’s race, according to The Associated Press, beating Republican Dan Cox to become the first black person to serve as governor of the state. was chosen.
Democrat Wes Moore was elected governor of Maryland on Tuesday, defeating Republican Dan Cox and becoming the first black person to be elected state governor amid a series of Democratic races statewide.
The Associated Press mentioned the race for Moore shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m.
Moore’s win was followed by wins for Democrat Anthony Brown for Attorney General — the first black person elected to that position in Maryland — and Democrat Brooke Lierman in the controller’s race. Lierman is the first woman to be elected to that position.
Voters also approved a constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana, the AP said.
Governor race: Moore beats Cox
Moore is a bestselling author, former CEO of a nonprofit, and war veteran who pledged during the campaign to create more opportunities for Maryland residents, strengthen education and boost economic growth.
Endorsed by Oprah Winfrey during the Democratic primary, Moore also joined President Joe Biden at Bowie State University on the eve of the election.
Moore, who has never held elected office, is the first black elected governor and only the third black governor elected in the US
Moore’s opponent Cox, a constitutional attorney and first-term state representative, took far-right conservative stances against riots against “critical race theory” and “gender identity indoctrination” in schools and against the COVID-19 lockdown measures.
Analysts said he did little during the campaign to temper his image to appeal to Maryland’s deep blue electorate.
Race call within minutes of poll close
AP called the race within minutes of polls closing at 8 p.m. and before the Maryland State Board of Elections reported any vote totals.
Moore’s running mate, former State Del. Aruna Miller, immigrated from India and is the first Asian-American person to be elected statewide.
Cheers and dancing erupted during Moore’s election night watch party in Baltimore, where Moore addressed supporters later Tuesday.
In remarks during his election night watch party in Baltimore, Moore thanked supporters for believing that “our state could be braver and our state could move faster”.
The governor-elect pledged to protect abortion rights, provide a kindergarten for every child in need, and work with police and communities to ensure public safety, saying, “In our Maryland, you will feel safe in your own home. neighborhoods – and safe in your own environment, your own skin.”
“Our administration will fight to give every Marylander the opportunity to succeed,” Moore said at the end of his victory speech. “This is our time.”
The scene at Cox election night party
Cox, who took the podium at his election night party in Annapolis shortly before 11pm, told supporters “we’re at a point where things don’t look right,” but he didn’t concede the race.
He said it’s still “very, very possible” he could win, pointing to “astonishing numbers” on Maryland’s east coast and in western Maryland’s Garrett County and because most of the votes were yet to be counted, ballots that were cast on Election Day and which, he said, do him a favour.
“It’s just a very possible situation… But I’m not going to lie to you, this is a difficult race,” Cox told supporters.
Dan Cox’s Election Night Speech to Supporters
It remains an open question whether Cox will accept the outcome of an election.
During the single debate, Cox didn’t say he would definitely accept the election results, comparing it to saying surgery had gone well before it happened.
Cox had praised his support by former President Donald Trump, but popular outgoing governor Larry Hogan, who won twice in the polls, declined to support Cox, calling him a “QAnon whackjob” over Cox’s support for false claims of election fraud in 2020.
Hogan tweeted around 8:40 p.m. on Tuesday that he had spoken to Moore and congratulated him on his win, promising a “smooth and orderly transition”.
A while ago I spoke to Wes Moore and congratulated him on his election as the next governor of Maryland. There is no higher calling than public service and no greater honor than to serve the people of this great state.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) Nov 9, 2022
Even before Election Day, more than 172,000 Marylanders voted in the early ballot, and more than 642,000 Maryland voters have requested mailed ballots. Of those, 400,000 ballots have already been returned, according to data from the Maryland State Board of Elections.
Eleven of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions — including most in the DC area — have already tabulated at least some of the ballots submitted and will report partial results Tuesday night.
The counting of ballots sent in will continue from Thursday, and as long as they are postmarked on Tuesday, ballots sent through the mail will be accepted until November 18.
In the race for attorney general, Democrat Anthony Brown, a three-term representative who served as Maryland’s lieutenant governor under Martin O’Malley, was the expected winner of Republican Michael Peroutka, according to the AP.
Before the race was declared, Brown declared victory in a speech in Baltimore on Tuesday, along with Moore and the other Democratic candidates across the state.
“We spent 12 months in Zooming, talking with Marylanders about our values and goals – to preserve our democracy, protect and defend our rights, embrace our diversity and create equitable opportunities for all Marylanders,” Brown, who said the first black attorney general, supporters told. “And this evening. I accept the responsibility and privilege of being your next Attorney General.”
Peroutka, a former member of Anne Arundel County Council, had been criticized for his past ties to a right-wing organization called the League of the South and for hosting 9/11 conspiracy radio shows.
Current state attorney general Brian Frosh, who is the state’s chief law enforcement officer, is retiring after two terms.
In the race for control, Democrat Brooke Lierman was the expected winner over Republican Barry Glassman.
Lierman, a state delegate, represents a Baltimore City district in the General Assembly. Glassman is the two-term county executive for Harford County.
Lierman declared the victory before the game on Tuesday.
“Thank you to the people who told me this was the first time they were so excited to compete in a control race,” said Lierman. “Thank you to the grandmothers, to the mothers, to the daughters, who said it’s time for a woman to manage the money in Maryland!”
The Maryland Comptroller serves as the state’s tax collector and one voice in the powerful three-member Council of Public Works, which oversees state spending.
The two candidates had sparred in debates over the controller’s role, with Lierman promising to take on an expanded role, including addressing climate change, gun violence, workers’ rights and economic justice. Glassman, a moderate Republican, has said he sees the role as an impartial financial director.
The current state comptroller, Peter Franchot, who served 15 years in office, is stepping down. Earlier this year, he made a failed bid for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Legalization of marijuana
Maryland voters also approved a constitutional amendment — Question 4 — to legalize the possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana by adults 21 and older, according to a projection from the AP.
Maryland is one of five states with recreational marijuana on the ballot this year. DC and Virginia have already legalized recreational use of marijuana.
The four other national voting measures are more technical in nature. Under Question 1, Maryland’s Supreme Court – now known as the Court of Appeals – would be renamed the Maryland Supreme Court. The second highest court – the Court of Special Appeals – would be renamed the Maryland Appellate Court.
Officials said it would reduce confusion and bring Maryland into line with what other Supreme Courts are called. Maryland is one of only two states (along with New York) that does not call the Supreme Court the Supreme Court.
Question 2 would create stricter residency requirements for Maryland state senators and delegates, requiring them not only to establish their residence in the district they represent, but also to make it their primary residence.
Question 3 would allow lawmakers in Maryland to limit jury trials in civil cases where the amount in question is less than $25,000.
Question 5 is about changes to Howard County’s Orphans Court, Maryland’s version of probate courts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.