Wes Moore (Courtesy Photo)

The following is an official statement from Wes Moore for Maryland

Wes Moore, a combat veteran and former nonprofit CEO of one of the nation’s largest organizations fighting to end poverty, today announced his campaign to lead Maryland as the state’s 63rd governor. In a video to supporters, Wes vowed to improve a state government that has let down too many working families, students, and small businesses and to make Maryland more competitive by creating economic opportunities for people from every corner of the state.

“As we come out of this pandemic, I believe we’re at a crossroads. We can’t simply go back to how things were. The way things were, wasn’t good enough for most Marylanders. We must focus on creating economic opportunity and closing the wealth gap,” Moore said. “What has become clear to me is that opportunity is readily available to some and dangerously absent to others. Here in Maryland, we have some of the nation’s most prosperous communities and some of its most impoverished; world class medical institutions and people who can’t afford basic care; some of the best schools and some of the most underfunded. Too many people work too hard, do everything the right way but it’s never enough, and this pandemic has made these inequities even worse. But right now, we stand ready to lead, ready to do something about it. I believe that no matter what road you start down, you deserve a path to success.”

Wes was born in Takoma Park, Maryland, where his dad was a radio broadcaster. When Wes was just three years old, his father died suddenly of a rare, but treatable virus. His father’s untimely death created instability in young Wes’ life, causing his mom to move the family to the Bronx in New York, where Wes’ grandparents lived. The family returned to Maryland when Wes was 14, and his mother found work in Baltimore — the first job that paid her benefits.

Wes graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Valley Forge Military College in 1998 and then Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001. As a teenager, he interned for former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke and then went on to earn a Rhodes Scholarship, which took him to Oxford University. 

Inspired by his mentors at military school, Wes went on to serve as a captain and paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne, including leading soldiers in combat in Afghanistan. He also served as a White House Fellow, advising on issues of national security and international relations.

Upon returning home, Wes wrote “The Other Wes Moore,” a story about the fragile nature of opportunity in America, which became a perennial New York Times bestseller. It’s commonly assigned reading in Maryland schools. Wes went on to write other best-selling books that reflect on issues of race, equity and opportunity, including his latest book “Five Days,” which tells the story of Baltimore in the days that followed the death of Freddie Gray in 2015.

It was Wes’ commitment to taking on our toughest challenges that brought him in 2016 to the Robin Hood foundation, where he served for four years as CEO. During his tenure, the Robin Hood foundation – one of the nation’s leading organizations fighting to end poverty – distributed over $600 million toward lifting families out of poverty, including right here in Maryland. While the Robin Hood foundation is headquartered in New York City, Wes and his family never moved from their home in Baltimore.

Earlier in his career, Wes built and launched a Baltimore-based business called BridgeEdU, which reinvents freshman year of college for underserved students to increase their likelihood of long-term success.

Of the many titles Wes has held over the years, there are two that he’s most proud of: husband and father. Wes and his wife Dawn live with their two children in Baltimore City.

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