Editor’s Note: The full one-on-one interview with Wes Moore is at the bottom of this story.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (DC News Now) — Wes Moore has made history as Maryland’s first Black man to become governor.
Now the 44-year-old governor-elect is trying to chart a course to achieve all the ambitious promises he made on the campaign trail: stem crime, bolster education and improve wages and wealth for Marylanders.
The best-selling author and military veteran said in an extensive interview with DC News Now that while it’s a tall order to fix Maryland’s ills, state government under his leadership will be “bold” and move “faster.”
“I think a Gov. Moore is going to look like how I’ve always led as an executive. I led soldiers in combat with the 82nd Airborne division,” he said. “I’ve run a successful small business here in Maryland. And I led one of the largest poverty fighting organizations in America. And the way that I have always led is by building a big table and making sure all voices are heard.”
In his first 100 days, Moore promised to get the minimum wage raised to $15 per hour, something he talked about on the campaign stump.
“Yes, this is a priority where we know that right now it’s slated to happen in 2025 and that is too late,” Moore said. “It needs to happen next year. We’ve got to make sure people are getting a fair wage for the work that they are doing.”
In addition, Moore said that state government under his leadership will be a “partner” with not only the General Assembly but also other elected officials from mayors to county executives.
He called the fact that he’s only the third African-American to win the governor’s post in American history and now the only one heading to that office nationwide “exciting” and “humbling.”
He and his running mate and incoming Lt. Gov.-elect Aruna Miller want to deal with “big issues” and to do it quickly.
“We are going to be aggressive and we are going to move fast,” he said. “And with a focus on how do we make our state more competitive while also making it more equitable. And that’s not a choice. We have to do both.”
Moore said that outgoing Republican Gov. Larry Hogan “reached out” and that the incoming state executive was “kind and he was gracious and offered congratulations.
While Republican gubernatorial opponent Dan Cox declined to concede on Election night, he did the next day after weeks of speculation of whether he would allege voter fraud following his losing court battles to stop the early counting of mail-in ballots.
Moore declined with a laugh that he’s not revealing any names of potential administration officials but promised that his administration would be diverse, look like Maryland and also include Republicans.
“You’ll see it from everything we think about from how we think about the transition and transformation teams that we’ll be launching to how we’re talking about the administration we’re going to build,” he said.