ANNAPOLIS, Md. (DC News Now) — Using a Bible that belonged to his grandfather and one that belonged to Frederick Douglass, Wes Moore took his oath of office Wednesday, becoming the first Black governor of Maryland.
Moore, who is 44, is the third elected Black American in the history of the United States to take a governorship.
The father of two said history wasn’t at the forefront of his mind during his successful campaign.
“It was something I always recognized because I know the … very complex racial history of the state, but at the same time, I knew that that wasn’t why I was going to win,” he said in an interview with The Hill. “I wasn’t running to make history. I was running because I knew that there was an urgency in the challenges that we’re looking to solve.”
Among the special guests in attendance were Oprah Winfrey and Chelsea Clinton.
Winfrey, who supported Moore’s campaign in his bid for office, was scheduled to speak. She spent time with the Moore Family prior to Moore taking his oath.
Shortly before Moore was sworn in, Aruna Miller took her oath as lieutenant governor, becoming the first woman of Asian descent to serve Maryland in that capacity.
The day before his inauguration, Moore named Hagerstown Mayor Emily Keller as his Special Secretary for Opioid Response.
Prior to that, he appointed Sen. Susan Lee as Maryland’s next Secretary of State. Lee, who has a decades-long record of public service, is the first Asian American Secretary of State.
Moore set forth a number of agenda items he planned to work on once sworn in. One of his priorities is a proposed “gap year” for graduating high school seniors to work in their communities on a broad range of projects.
They would be paid $15,000 and be eligible for a $6,000 college scholarship after helping with a variety of needs in urban neighborhoods and rural areas. Moore said it would bring youth from diverse racial and economic backgrounds together for a common good.