Wes Moore, a star writer and former nonprofit executive who campaigned as a political outsider, has won the Democratic primary for governor of Maryland.
Three days after voting concluded, The Associated Press declared Mr. Moore the winner late Friday over Tom Perez, a former labor secretary and Democratic National Committee chairman; Peter Franchot, the state comptroller; and 6 other candidates.
Mr. Moore, a best-selling writer who for a time hosted a show on Oprah Winfrey’s cable network, forged himself as a dynamic newcomer in a race by which his top rivals were all veterans of Maryland or national politics. Along with an endorsement from Ms. Winfrey, he had the backing of the Democratic leaders of each chambers of the Maryland legislature and three members of the state’s congressional delegation — a robust showing for a first-time candidate.
Mr. Moore, who would turn out to be Maryland’s first Black governor if he wins, might be a heavy favorite in the overall election against Dan Cox, a Republican state legislator who was endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump. Mr. Cox has amplified an array of election conspiracy theories, and in the course of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, he called Vice President Mike Pence “a traitor.”
Democrats are in search of to retake the Maryland governor’s office after eight years by which it was occupied by Gov. Larry Hogan, a moderate Republican who’s among the many nation’s hottest governors.
Mr. Hogan, who endorsed Mr. Cox’s rival within the G.O.P. primary, is prohibited by state law from in search of a 3rd term. Despite his popularity, he was unable to transfer his support to Kelly Schulz, a longtime ally who served in his cabinet for seven years. Mr. Hogan said Wednesday that he wouldn’t support Mr. Cox.
Results from Maryland’s Democratic primary for governor, together with a variety of other key races, were delayed because state law prohibits absentee ballots returned through the mail or in drop boxes from being counted for 2 days after Election Day.
On Thursday, election officials across the state gathered to start the laborious means of inspecting and opening absentee ballots, allowing campaigns to review ballots that prompted any questions, and feeding the ballots through voting machines. Mr. Perez gained some ground as absentee votes were counted, but ultimately it was not enough.
Mr. Moore prevailed in the first despite questions on the veracity of the biography he has presented. He will not be a Baltimore native, as he has claimed, and his tenure as a nonprofit executive in Recent York was marked by an episode by which his assistant was fired after a dispute regarding extra time pay for private work she was doing for Mr. Moore.
Unlike a number of recent Democratic primaries, the party’s contest for Maryland governor didn’t activate sharp ideological differences between the candidates. As a substitute the race centered on which candidate could construct coalitions across ideologies.