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Moore Posts Big Early lead in Democratic Gubernatorial primary; Perez is second and optimistic

July 20, 2022

Best-selling author and former foundation executive Wes Moore, who began his long-shot pursuit of the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in single digits, catapulted into the lead on

Tuesday as the first wave of ballots were counted.

With early-voting ballots counted and 1,958 of 2,074 precincts reporting primary day ballots, Moore and his running mate, former state Del. Aruna Miller, had 37% of the primary vote.

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, a former Maryland Labor Secretary and Montgomery County Council member, had 27%. He and his running mate, former Baltimore City Council member Shannon Sneed, trailed Moore and Miller by about 34,000 votes.

Comptroller Peter Franchot, the state’s four-term tax collector, fell short of expectations. The consensus frontrunner since launching his campaign over a year ago, Franchot and his running mate, former Prince George’s Council member Monique Anderson-Walker, pulled in just 20% of the vote, with 94% of precincts across the state and all early voting centers reporting.

The half-dozen other Democrats running posted in the low single digits.

Moore’s commanding lead, which must survive a mail-in vote count process that is expected to last many days, represented an enormous validation of the endorsement- and charisma-fueled campaign waged by the decorated military veteran and non-profit CEO.

There were more than 168,000 mail-in ballots from Democratic voters returned to election officials as of Monday, enough to overtake any current lead, and the Franchot and Perez camps encouraged voters and the public to be patient and wait for complete information. Many additional mail ballots were likely returned on Tuesday; elections officials will begin counting those ballots on Thursday morning.

Nevertheless, the Moore campaign hosted a joyous event with a couple hundred supporters at The Garage at R House in North Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood on Tuesday night.

Around 11 p.m., Moore, 43, appeared on a small stage, an American flag on one side, the Maryland flag on the other, to cheers and an enthusiastic round of applause.

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