(Photo Source: Oprah)
By Richard Elliott
(BOWIE – January 20, 2023) – Wes Moore and Aruna Miller made history on Jan. 18, and have officially been sworn in as Maryland’s new Democratic governor and lieutenant governor. Following the official ceremony in the Senate Building with many electeds on hand for the private ceremony, a more public ceremony was held outside of the State Capitol.
Moore’s swearing-in was greeted by applause from the many attendees, a 19-gun salute, and a jet flyover. During Moore’s speech, he expressed deliberate interest in addressing such issues as the racial wealth gap, school funding gaps, and environmental racism as some of the challenges we face.
Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman served as Master of Ceremonies. Oprah Winfrey, perhaps the one star larger than Moore present, presented Moore before his speech. Former Attorney General Eric Holder and Chelsea Clinton were also spotted at the inauguration.
Some of the loudest applause of Pittman’s opener was his account of his endorsement and Moore’s meteoric rise during the election. Pittman gave an honest reckoning of his family history: one of his ancestors, Dr. Stewart, was an Anne Arundel politician and tobacco planter who made his fortune during slavery.
Elected officials were proud to attend and participate in the inauguration. Prince George’s Councilmembers Sydney Harrison and Jolene Ivey, Delegate Julian Ivey, Greenbelt Councilmember Ric Gordon, and Laurel Councilmember Martin Mitchell were among those spotted walking into the swearing-in before the elected official sign-in.
Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee Vice Chair Antwan Brown, who had a leadership role for Moore during the general election, came out because he “wanted to be part of history”, and Councilmember Harrison is particularly looking forward to what Moore and his administration will do for equity and inclusion in government.
Wes Moore’s tenure as the first Black Governor of Maryland has begun, and the Black public holds great pride with great expectations for his administration. Throughout the day, shuttles brought Marylanders from the Navy Stadium parking lot to the inauguration and many Black elders came from across the state to witness history. For those who had witnessed the intense segregation and racism of Maryland in the 1960s and prior, this was a particularly turning moment.
Moore is beginning his administration with a Democratic supermajority in both the State House and State Senate, which will make enacting his agenda and getting his Cabinet picks confirmed easier. Moore has selected Black nominees for the Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Veterans Affairs positions.