He is the third elected in the entire history of the United States.
It sounded trivial, but it was historical. Democrat Wes Moore has become the first black governor of Maryland and the only one in the country. His oath of office was the result of his overwhelming victory at the polls on November 8, making him the third African-American elected governor in the history of the United States, after Deval Patrick in Massachusetts and David Paterson in NY.
You have to go back to 1871 to find two other African Americans who became governors, but in the cases of Oscar Dunn and PBS Pinchback it was by accident and for a brief period of time that they served as acting governor.
Moore, 44, had long been an emerging figure in the Democratic Party. He already had three minutes of glory on stage at the 2008 convention that crowned Barack Obama as presidential candidate, when he was simply “Captain Moore,” an Afghanistan veteran who was called up after the 9/11 attacks. Naturally, Obama returned the favor in this campaign by giving him his support, but also Joe Biden and even Oprah Winfrey, who turned one of his books into a best seller after interviewing him.
“I know that with Wes More as your governor, Maryland has its best days ahead of it,” predicted the American television diva, who had a role of honor at her inauguration on Tuesday. Oprah assures that when she interviewed him she found him so brilliant that he became a great friend. “I always come away from our conversations with a new perspective, new ideas, a new way of looking at things, and a shot of positive energy,” she said Tuesday.
With these supports, Moore can boast of having achieved an overwhelming victory of 64.7% -double that of his Republican rival-, in a country so divided that the margins rarely exceed a few points. The new governor of Maryland seems to have borrowed a page from Obama’s improbable victory to make his trip the hope of all. “If you had looked at a boy who at eleven years old was already handcuffed by the police, who had watched his father die in front of him, and whose mother had to work multiple part-time jobs because none of them paid to support her family, you wouldn’t I don’t think anyone would have believed that this child would one day become governor,” he said excitedly.
He owes this in large part to his mother, born in Jamaica, who when she saw her son arrested for painting graffiti in the Bronx neighborhood to which they had moved, understood that he would soon end up in jail. His drastic recipe was to send him to a military academy, from which he initially tried to escape, but from which he emerged years later as an admired captain in command of 800 cadets who believed him “Superman.” The war also gave him the slogan that he has brought to his campaign, “leave no one behind.” His time in a New York investment bank, the credibility so that voters would see him as a good manager. And his work as Executive head of one of the largest NGOs in the country in the fight against poverty, Robin Hood, forces him to convince the electorate that this charismatic politician, writer and philanthropist has serious intentions of improving the lives of the most unfortunate in cities as impoverished as Baltimore.
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