Historic inauguration: Wes Moore pledges ‘bold’ steps for Md. as he takes oath of office

Wes Moore was sworn-in Wednesday, becoming Maryland’s first Black governor in a historic inauguration at the state capitol in Annapolis, according to WTOP.

Moore took the oath of office twice — first during a ceremony in the Maryland state Senate chamber and later in a public ceremony outside the state house before a large crowd. In both, he pledged to “bear true allegiance to the state of Maryland,” with his hand pressed on two Bibles — one owned by his grandfather and the other once owned by abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who was born into slavery in Maryland.

Aruna Miller, Maryland’s lieutenant governor-elect, was also sworn in Wednesday. An immigrant from India who came to the U.S. at age 7, Miller is the first woman of color and the first immigrant to hold the job.

Moore’s public swearing-in, which was administered by Chief Justice of the Maryland Supreme Court Matthew J. Fader, was followed by a 19-gun salute and a flyover.

Moore, a bestselling author, nonprofit CEO and combat veteran, won a landslide victory over Republican Del. Dan Cox in November’s election.

In his inaugural address, Moore pledged “bold” policies and offered a bipartisan vision that he said would sidestep the “false choices” of traditional partisan politics.

“We do not have to choose between a competitive economy and an equitable one,” he said. “We do not have to choose between a safe state and a just state. Maryland can, and will, be both.”

Moore said he would tackle the racial wealth gap, protect the Chesapeake Bay and fight pollution, and put the state on track to generate 100% of clean energy by 2035, saying “clean energy will define our economy.”

On education, he pledged “high quality, highly inclusive schools” and pledged a service year option for all high school graduates.

Moore, who made “Leave No One Behind,” his campaign rallying cry, declared, “We must govern on big principles and not on petty differences.”

The inaugural ceremony drew a crowd of hundreds, including political dignitaries, and state and local officeholders.

Oprah Winfrey, a longtime friend who prominently backed Moore in the Democratic primary, introduced the new governor. In her remarks, she recalled the eight years she lived in Maryland in her twenties, working a news anchor and talk show host in Baltimore.

Maryland, she said, is where she discovered her passion.

“Maryland is full to the brim with opportunity. It was back then; it is now. And I know that with Wes Moore as your governor, Maryland’s best days lie ahead,” Winfrey said.

Miller, who took the oath on a copy of the Bhagavad Ghita, one of the of holy scriptures of the Hindu faith, was introduced by her children.

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