2022 Maryland election: AP projects Moore win in history-making governor’s race
Within minutes of the polls closing, Democrat Wes Moore has been projected the winner of Maryland governor’s race, according to the Associated Press, besting Republican Dan Cox and becoming the first Black person elected governor of the state.
Democrat Wes Moore has been projected the winner of Maryland governor’s race, according to the Associated Press, besting Republican Dan Cox and becoming the first Black person elected governor of the state.
Two other statewide races — attorney general and comptroller — have not yet been called.
In addition, voters in the Free State are weighing in on a constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana.
Governor: Moore defeats Cox
Moore, is a bestselling author, former nonprofit CEO and combat veteran who campaigned under the slogan of “leave no one behind” and pledged to create greater opportunity for Maryland residents and boost economic growth.
Endorsed by Oprah Winfrey during the primary, Moore also rallied with President Joe Biden at Bowie State University on the eve of the election.
Moore is the first Black person elected governor and only the third Black governor elected in the U.S.
Moore’s opponent Cox, a constitutional lawyer and one-term state delegate, staked out conservative positions and, analysts said, did little during the campaign to moderate his appeal to Maryland’s deep-blue electorate.
Cox touted his endorsement from President Donald Trump, but popular outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan, who won twice at the polls, refused to endorse Cox and called him a “QAnon whackjob” over Cox’s support for false claims of 2020 election fraud.
At Cox’s election night party in Annapolis, there was no comment from the campaign on the race call. Cox was expected to address supporters at 10 p.m.
Amid soaring inflation, the economy was been cited as the No. 1 issue for voters.
On the campaign trail, Moore pitched a $100 million “baby bonds” program — savings accounts set up with $3,200 for every child in Maryland born on Medicaid. Moore also pledged to boost economic growth in the state and, although he has vowed not to raise taxes on Maryland families, questions have been raised over how the expansive programs would be paid for.
For his part, Cox pledged to cut taxes for all Marylanders and has made parental involvement in schools a key campaign theme, railing against so-called “critical race theory” and “gender identity indoctrination” in schools.
Already, ahead of Election Day, more than 172,000 Marylanders cast ballots during early voting, and more than 642,000 Maryland voters have requested mail-in ballots. Of those, 400,000 ballots have already been returned, according to data from the Maryland State Board of Elections.
Eleven of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions — including most of those in the D.C. area — have already tabulated at least some of the mail-in ballots and will report partial results Tuesday night.
Counting of mail-in ballots will continue starting Thursday, and as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday, ballots sent through the mail will be accepted until Nov. 18.
The first election results reported Tuesday night after polls close will include early voting and mail-in ballots from those that have tabulated them, according to the state board.
It remains an open question whether Cox will accept the results of an election.
Cox sued to stop the State Board of Elections from processing mail-in ballots before Election Day saying it was unconstitutional for the board to do so after Hogan earlier this year vetoed a measure allowing the early tabulation of mail-in ballots.
During the sole debate, Cox stopped short of saying he would definitely accept the results of the election, likening it to saying a surgery went well before it had taken place.
In the race for attorney general, Democrat Anthony Brown, a three-term representative who served as Maryland’s lieutenant governor under Martin O’Malley, faces Republican Michael Peroutka.
Peroutka, a former Anne Arundel County Council member, has drawn criticism for his former ties to a right-wing organization called the League of the South and for hosting 9/11 conspiracy radio shows.
The state’s current attorney general, Brian Frosh, who serves as the state’s chief law enforcement official, is retiring after two terms.
In the race for comptroller, Democrat Brooke Lierman faces Republican Barry Glassman.
Lierman, a state delegate, represents a Baltimore City district in the General Assembly. Glassman is the two-term county executive for Harford County.
Maryland’s comptroller acts as the state’s tax collector and is one vote on the powerful three-person Board of Public Works, which oversees state spending.
The two candidates have sparred in debates over the role of the comptroller, with Lierman pledging to take an expansive role that includes tackling climate, gun violence, workers’ rights and economic fairness. Glassman, a moderate Republican, has said he sees the role as a nonpartisan chief financial officer.
The state’s current comptroller, Peter Franchot, who has served in his position for 15 years, is stepping down. He made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for governor earlier this year.
Maryland voters are also set to weigh in on the legalization of recreational marijuana. Question 4 would legalize possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana by adults 21.
Maryland is one of five states with recreational marijuana on the ballot this year. D.C. and Virginia have already legalized recreational use of marijuana.
It’s one of five constitutional amendments on the ballot; the four other statewide ballot measures are more technical in nature. Under Question 1, Maryland’s highest court — now known as the Court of Appeals — would be renamed the Maryland Supreme Court. The second-highest court — the Court of Special Appeals — would be renamed the Maryland Appellate Court.
Officials said it would reduce confusion and put Maryland in line with how other state supreme courts are named. Maryland is one of only two states (along with New York) that doesn’t call its highest court the Supreme Court.
Question 2 would create stricter residency requirements for Maryland state senators and delegates, requiring them to not only establish residency in the district which they represent but also make it their primary place of abode.
Question 3 would allow Maryland lawmakers to limit jury trials in civil cases in which the amount in question is less than $25,000.
Question 5 deals with changes to Howard County’s orphans court, Maryland’s version of probate courts.
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