Tuesday, March 21Welcome

After a lifetime of politics, Wes Moore chooses his moment.Will Maryland voters hire him for his most ambitious job? – Baltimore Sun

When discussions about Wes Moore’s future first entered the national media spotlight, he wasn’t on a book tour or during prestigious programs like the Rhodes Scholarship and the White House Fellowship.

He was a 17-year-old spectator in the NBA Draft, a leap that Kobe Bryant and other teens he met at amateur athletic league games and high school camps might one day make. A standout point guard at the Valley Forge Military Academy, Moore once dreamed of being drafted by the New York Knicks.

But facing a future All-Star forced him to rethink his options. Supposedly, he told a New York Times reporter at the draft that he would go to law school and enter politics instead.

In a 1996 article, Moore wrote, “I’d love to walk that stage one day.” [the NBA commissioner] I never call my name. We don’t look at all the achievements and say, “It doesn’t matter because we weren’t drafted.” Move on. ”

Twenty-six years later, the Democrat who wants to be governor of Maryland has studied in South Africa and England, worked as an investment banker in London and New York, led the Airborne Forces in Afghanistan, been a bestselling author, and owned a production company. Launched, one of the largest non-profit organizations in the United States.

Moore is a front-runner to succeed Republican Governor Larry Hogan, who will be out of office this fall, as he faces off against Republican nominee Dan Cox. He’s leading by a wide margin in his two polls statewide this fall, a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2 to 1, making him the best so far. By the way, Mr. Cox is greatly surpassed.

Moore said the idea of ​​an elected public office only started to feel a real possibility in 2020, when he was about to quit his job running Robin Hood, a nonprofit that fights poverty.

But whether he was a teenager pondering his options or a celebrity writer recruited to run for Congress, as a profile in the Baltimore Sun described him in his late 20s, “Governor Politics has never been invisible, whether you’ve been someone you’ve dreamed of being. of Maryland. ”

“When he was an undergraduate, he was discussing a possible career in politics,” said Matthew Crenson, a former professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University and a former advisor to Moore. rice field.

“I suggested to him a way to start a career in politics for many in Maryland: run for delegates,” Crenson said. “His response was, ‘I prefer executive positions.'”

Moore said he needs time to determine his skill set and interests.

“There were things I had to go through to really understand who I was,” he said.

Moore’s trademark smile and charisma, as well as his persona across the aisle, have been documented for decades.

In 2000, 22-year-old Rhodes scholar Moore, who sounds like the 43-year-old candidate Moore, said: “I have always built bridges between people.

Moore’s friends, colleagues and mentors say Moore is consistent, ambitious yet patient. They say he has boundless positive energy in all seriousness.They think he is both strategic about his path and dedicated to his work. He was waiting for the time and position where he could have the greatest impact, they say.

Mustafa Rifat, a friend of mine when he worked at Citibank, said, “It’s really easy for a young, forward-thinking person to be tempted by a siren call.” doing.”

After spending his first few years in Takoma Park, Moore moved with his mother and two sisters to his grandparents’ home in the Bronx after the death of his father, a radio reporter.

Moore, who is black, said in his best-selling book, The Other Wes Moore, that he felt caught between his neighborhood in the Bronx and the predominantly white private school his mother thought was heaven. I am writing. The book chronicled his early life and that of a Baltimore man of the same name who is in prison for his role in the robbery that killed a Baltimore County police sergeant. Bruce A. Procello.

In the Bronx, Moore began skipping school, and at age 11, he was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a police car after spray-painting his nickname on a wall. His mother soon sent him to Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania.

“He embraced structure and embraced having a mentor like a brother,” said Justin Brandon, Moore’s best friend from the Bronx.

Mr. Moore’s path to the top levels of state politics was shaped by military schools, earned prestigious educational opportunities, and left a trail of insights about a man who worked in higher finance and public service.

Afghanistan — where he spent almost a year as an officer in the 82nd Airborne — energized him, he writes.

Other steps were accompanied by mixed feelings. His more than a year at Deutsche Bank in London and his five years at Citibank in New York are part of his resume and the least memorable of his campaigns. “In The Work: Searching for a Life That Matters, published in 2015, Moore describes how while working as his junior associate in London, he was “filled with company credit on his cards and designer clothes.” ” about having a closet. deeper existential issues. ”

When I returned to finance after my assignment and White House Fellowship, it was simply the “easiest choice.”

“He wanted to understand how finance can be used for good,” Rifat said. “The way finance works. The way power works. We all know Wall Street money is everywhere in politics, so how the people who fund political campaigns work.

Moore and his wife, Dawn, who lived in Jersey City, worked in Manhattan, and lived in an apartment in New York City, married in 2007 and owned a house in the Riverside neighborhood of south Baltimore. She was Democrat Anthony Brown’s campaign manager and chief of staff when Brown was lieutenant governor.

By the time Moore left Wall Street and returned to Baltimore in late 2012, the couple had a home in the Guildford neighborhood of North Baltimore and started a production company and a real estate investment firm, according to public records. He hosted shows on Oprah’s Winfrey Network and his PBS (Winfrey endorsed him this year), and received a national tribute to “The Other Wes Moore,” released two years ago. Talk was on his show.

Questions abounded about his political outlook.

“Every day I hear new rumors about my plans….” Moore told The Sun in 2013. Having broadened his horizons, he said there are multiple ways to serve.

In 2017, the Moores and their two children moved into a $2.3 million home in Guildford, and the Moores started working again in New York. This time, in the case of Robin Hood, he took the 5:00 a.m. train to work from Baltimore.

In his four years, the Robin Hood Foundation distributed $600 million to fight poverty. According to the nonprofit’s financial report, his last year in 2020, his salary was $900,000, with “other compensation” adding $100,000 to him.

Moore’s jovial personality was revealed as we walked through a crowded Maryland fairgrounds on Labor Day weekend. I was drawn to

“Come on!” he grunted as he was talking to his sophomore about school sports. “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he told another. “Just In Time! Just In Time!”

“He’s a very charismatic guy and exactly who Baltimore needs,” said Linda Rockford, a retired teacher at the fair. “I’ve always been a Hogan fan. But I also believe in change.”

Baltimore’s Nichelle Gibbs, 43, voted for former U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez in the primary because of her experience working for the Obama administration.

“Based on the other candidates, I’m sure I would vote for him.

Losing to Moore by about 15,350 out of over 955,000 votes, Perez tried to turn Moore’s experience in the financial sector into something negative. crisis. Also in an interview with The Times, Perez said he would be safer in the general election if Democrats nominated themselves, citing challenges to the details of Moore’s personal story told by others. suggested that it would

Moore said he was accurate about his birthplace and military service, and took multiple steps to amend the summary on the back cover of his first book to suggest he was from Baltimore.

Perez backed Moore in August.

Moore also recently faced questions about over $20,000 in unpaid city water bills. A spokesperson for the campaign said the couple were not aware of the issue. The couple said in 2013 when Taiyo asked about a property tax exemption for the house they rented, they said they didn’t know, they wanted to pay for what they rented and would investigate.

Several key factors helped Moore in this summer’s primary, including early endorsement from Prince George County Chief Executive Angela Alzbrooks. She cast the weight of her campaign behind Moore in a county with the most Democratic voters in the state. Moore’s victory there surpassed Perez’s victory in her hometown of Montgomery County.

Alsbrooks said she met with all the candidates who asked for her endorsement and then chose someone she didn’t know before.

“People were surprised because they had literally never heard of Wes Moore,” Olbrooks said of her endorsement. ” was about the question. and “Who?”

“You can’t represent someone you don’t know or don’t understand,” she said.

Kay Whitehead, professor of communications and African American studies at Loyola University and host of the WEAA-FM show, said Moore had “clear and concise statements about inclusivity, community, and progressive issues.” He said he has a message. In 2014, he campaigned for outsiders who pledged to lift Maryland economically.

“It reminds me of Barack Obama, someone who speaks differently, puts community first, and talks about giving people the power to decide what’s going on in their lives.” said Whitehead.

“He’s not just [coming] Until she became a superstar in Maryland. He’s the superstar of the party right now,” she added. It will be debated among Democrats.

“If I had a dime every time someone asked me if and when I would be president, I could probably start my own venture capital fund,” said a public relations firm.

But Moore isn’t one to go ahead.

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“I’m committed to Maryland,” Moore said with his classic smile when asked about his future. …and I feel like things are going pretty well.”

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