MARYLAND, Md. (DC News Now) — Campaigns oftentimes have drama, intrigue and controversy with the candidates.
Maryland gubernatorial candidates Wes Moore, (D-Baltimore), and Dan Cox (R-Frederick), both have some pasts or views that have raised questions. For Moore, he had allowed some to believe he was born on the streets of Baltimore when he wasn’t while Cox, dug in his heels as a 2020 election denier and that presidency was stolen from Donald Trump.
And with both campaigns in the Maryland gubernatorial race battling over debates and whether to count mail-in ballots before Election Day, both contenders have had to answer questions on these topics. And both candidates have tried to exploit the controversies on each other.
Moore, 43, the combat veteran and businessman, has had to address questions since the Democratic primary over letting notable interviewers such as Oprah Winfrey and Stephen Colbert say he grew up in Baltimore when he actually was raised in Tacoma Park just outside of Washington D.C.
“I wish I had the luxury of being able to, when someone says where are you from, to have it be a simple and clean answer. I moved around a lot when I was young, because of trauma, because of tragedy, because I watched my father dying in front of me when I was almost four years old,” Moore said in an interview. “Because he didn’t get the health care that he needed. And when my mom struggled, she then moved us up to live with my grandparents in New York.”
The interviews came as a result of Moore’s best-selling book, “The Other Wes Moore,” about two people who are connected to Baltimore. His namesake had a criminal past while the now gubernatorial candidate was headed to be a Rhodes Scholar and intern at the White House.
Moore said that he considers himself a Baltimorean because it was the city that accepted him and where his widowed, single mother found a job that helped provide for their family.
“I never misled or tried to mislead anybody,” he said, accusing political opponents in the past of trying to exploit the issue. “There’s nothing that I wrote nor said, that’s an inaccurate. Nothing. On page seven of my book, I talk about my journey, and where I was born. On page 37 of my book, I talk about moving around, and going from Maryland to New York and talking moving back to Maryland.”
For Cox, 48, he had launched his campaign on the back of Trump and the disproven belief that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent and that President Joe Biden didn’t win. Trump then backed his candidacy during the primary against an opponent supported by outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan, whom Trump despises over his refusal to say the election was stolen.
When asked if the election was stolen, Cox didn’t directly answer at first.
“Does the media believe that the Frederick County election right now it was stolen from the young lady who won by one vote? Interestingly, she was disqualified and then a certified election was decertified on the basis of fraud, because apparently, she voted,” he said.
Trump, he said, was right to question the integrity of the election despite overwhelming evidence that fraud was not committed by a variety of experts and the legal system all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Election integrity goes across all party lines. No one wants anomalies, no one wants to see what we saw in 2020 where we had mail-in ballots with no chain of custody,” he said.
Cox has himself has petitioned the Montgomery County Circuit Court to not allow the Maryland Board of Elections to count mail-in ballots early so that it will not be delayed in certifying the election well into December.
“Yes,” Cox said when asked again on whether the election was stolen from Trump. “I believe when the evidence is shown as it should have been, that that is likely the result because we all witnessed it. I was up in Philadelphia. We saw that the lack of a any kind of verification on the mail and signatures.”
Both candidates have lambasted the other their pasts and views and is expected to be topics during their scheduled and lone Oct. 12 debate.
Moore said the political stunts to derail him won’t work.
“No, I’m not going to apologize to someone who’s choosing to politicize something for their own for their own political gain, because they have nothing else to talk about,” he said.
And Cox was resolute in his belief about the 2020 election.
“Trump is right. There was serious problems. We’re still seeing it happen today. And we need to get to the bottom of that,” he said.