(CNN) — Wes Moore, Maryland’s new governor, reflected Sunday on the historic nature of his election as the state’s first black chief executive.
“It’s remarkable,” the Democrat said in a CNN “State of the Union” interview with Dana Bash, who pointed out that Maryland will also have an attorney general, treasurer, and state president. black houses. “I’m proud of the history I’m going to make in this run of being the state’s first black governor.”
“And also I’m proud of it because I know how complicated racial history is in the state of Maryland and how complicated racial history is in the United States,” he said. “Maryland is the state of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Thurgood Marshall, but I also know that the reason I am now days away from becoming the 63rd Governor of Maryland is not just because black people voted for me.”
Moore, an Army veteran and former nonprofit executive, is only the third black person to be elected governor in US history. He beat Republican Dan Cox in November by 32 points in the Deep Blue State.
Moore said people voted for him “not just because they wanted to see him go down in history” but because they knew that together we really could build a state that everyone could believe in. and in which everyone could prosper.
“I’m a patriot and I was raised by patriots,” said Moore, who served in Afghanistan.
“Our country is worth fighting for, but fighting for your country doesn’t mean hating half of its people,” Moore said. “And when we talk about patriotism, it means an ability to be able to uplift everyone – to fight for each other, to believe in each other – to believe that our country is great because we are inclusive.”
Moore will succeed Republican Governor Larry Hogan, whose term was limited and who has criticized the far-right direction his party has taken in recent years.
“I appreciate the fact that the Governor…he was very much opposed to the MAGA movement from its inception — for years,” Moore told Bash. “He called the MAGA movement dangerous, which it is…and I thank him for that.”
Moore also said he doesn’t anticipate running for the White House anytime soon, instead throwing his support behind President Joe Biden in 2024.
“I am very happy that President Biden is running for re-election. We will support him. I’m grateful for the number of times he’s been to Maryland. We have a lot of partnerships that we’re going to do,” he said.
Moore said jobs, wages and wealth were the three main policy areas he wanted to focus on in his term.
“For work, that means we’re going to have an education system that’s going to teach our students not just to be employees but also to be employers,” he said, noting that he had offered a “year of service option” for all Maryland high school graduates. If passed, the state would be the first in the nation to adopt such a program, which would provide job training and mentorship to young Marylanders.
“For wages, that means we’re going to make sure people can get good wages again for the jobs they’re doing because we still have too many people in this state working – and in some cases – many jobs – – and still living below the poverty line,” he said.
Moore also said he wants Maryland to lead the country in addressing the racial wealth gap and “making sure people can own more than they have to.”
New governor says best way to pay for state programs without raising taxes is to spur economic growth by introducing more job training to place unemployed workers in job vacancies and provide child care to working parents.
“We have a dynamic economy, we’re just not preparing people to participate in this dynamic economy,” he said.
When asked by Bash if he was confident in his ability to implement state programs without raising taxes, Moore said, “I’m very confident.”
By Michelle Watson and Jack Forrest, CNN
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