Name: Wes Moore
Political party: Democrat
Where you live: Baltimore City
Current occupation and employers (may also list up to two previous jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: CEO, The Robin Hood Foundation. Founder & CEO, BridgeEDU
Political experience (public offices held and when; as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years; do not include political party positions): none
1 – Why are you running for governor? (75 words max)
I’m running for governor to create work, wages, and wealth, with a focus on equity, for every person in Maryland. As governor, I'm going to build an economy where everyone can thrive by accelerating the minimum wage increase to $15 by 2023, creating strong pathways to the workforce with job training and apprenticeships, and setting students up for success by fully funding and implementing the Blueprint.
2 – What is the most important issue in this race? How specifically would you address it? (100 words max)
No matter your start in life, you deserve an equal opportunity to succeed — a job you can raise a family on, a future you can look forward to. Creating opportunities for people to step into better jobs, earn higher wages, and build wealth that people can pass to their children — especially for underserved communities — is the North Star that will guide my administration when I’m governor. As governor, I will work to connect Marylanders to the skills they need to obtain good-paying jobs, accelerate the minimum wage increase to $15/hour by 2023, and make homeownership more accessible.
3 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to be governor? (100 words max)
From leading soldiers into combat as a captain in the 82nd Airborne, founding a Baltimore-based small business helping students make it to and through college, and leading one of the largest poverty-fighting organizations in the country, I have been fortunate to lead in every sector of the American economy. As CEO, we leveraged over $600 million and worked in the halls of government, bringing everyone together to tackle the issues holding our communities back. Since serving in the military, I’ve lived by the motto “leave no one behind.” That is exactly what I’ll do as governor.
4 – What is the most pressing health care issue in the state? How would you address it? (100 words max)
When I was just 3, I watched my father die in front of me from an illness that was completely treatable if he had received the care he deserved. I believe that health care is a fundamental right that every Marylander deserves, yet over 257,000 Marylanders still lack access. As governor, I will ensure universal access to affordable health coverage, address the extremely high costs of prescription drugs that make up nearly 30% of commercial health spending, and greatly expand access to mental health care for the nearly 60% of Marylanders who do not receive any mental health services.
5 – What is the most pressing public safety issue in the state? How would you address it? (100 words max)
As the first candidate to release a comprehensive public safety plan, I recognize that keeping people safe is a governor's highest responsibility. I believe in policing with absolute integrity and appropriate intensity, bringing together federal, state, and local resources to prevent crime. As governor, I will tackle the flood of illegal guns flooding our streets, invest in proven community-based violence intervention programs, reform our broken parole and probation system, and invest in re-entry services that connect people to behavioral health treatment, housing, and employment. When I am governor, I will act swiftly and with urgency to keep Marylanders safe.
6 – How well is the state addressing climate change? What would you do differently? (100 words max)
Maryland used to be a national leader in fighting climate change, but a failure of executive leadership over the past eight years has set us back, costing us over $10 billion in the past decade and putting our communities at risk. As governor, I will set aggressive targets to generate 100% clean energy by 2035, achieve net-zero emissions by 2045 and implement solutions to address sea-level rise and extreme heat, prioritizing environmental justice throughout. We will create a stronger, greener economy, creating thousands of new jobs, lowering costs, and protecting our most vulnerable communities.
7 – What is one major issue Gov. Larry Hogan handled poorly? What would you have done differently? (100 words max)
While Maryland is asset rich, we’re strategy poor. Right now, we have more than two unfilled jobs for every Marylander filing for unemployment, and our unemployment rate is the 36th best in the country. I am going to focus on strengthening our key assets by connecting Marylanders to high-demand skills, investing in our workforce by accelerating our minimum wage increase to $15/hour by 2023 and fixing our broken child care system, lifting up small businesses that employ over half of all Marylanders, and building critical transportation infrastructure that connects our residents to new jobs and opportunities.
8 – Do you support widening interstates 270 and 495 and adding tolls? Why or why not? (100 words max)
We are opposed to the plan for I-270 and I-495 as proposed by the Hogan administration and oppose the toll lanes as proposed in the current P3 plan. Little collaboration occurred with local jurisdictions, and the current P3 procurement process is deeply flawed, with minimal public oversight and transparency. The original I-270 plan also had a mass transit option, which is no longer there. Improving transit in the state and region will be a top priority for the Moore-Miller administration in a manner that prioritizes equity, community voice, and increasing economic opportunity.
9 – Does Maryland have good open government laws? What, if anything, would you change? (100 words max)
I understand that transparency and open government is the only way to successfully move forward. For the past eight years, we’ve had a governor who has led without transparency or accountability. In the military, we learned that if you want different, you have to do different. That is why transparency and accountability will be a hallmark of the Moore-Miller administration in everything we do. Under my administration, I will ensure that Maryland upholds strong open government laws to ensure government is accountable to the people we serve.
10 – What is your biggest accomplishment? (max 75 words)
Though I’m proud to have led soldiers into combat and led one of the largest poverty-fighting organizations in America, I’m most proud of my work fighting to ensure the passage of the Blueprint because failing to create a world-class public education system isn’t just failing our children, but our future, as well. I was endorsed by Maryland’s teachers because they know I won’t stop fighting until every child has the opportunity to succeed.