Tom Perez concedes Democratic primary race for Maryland governor

On Saturday afternoon, former U.S. Labor Secretary and Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez conceded in the Democratic primary for Maryland governor.

In a statement on Perez’s campaign website, he said: “I congratulate Wes Moore and Aruna Miller on their hard-fought victory. Now is the time for us to unite, and I look forward to aggressively working with them to flip Maryland blue this November.”

“Amid our incredible challenges, I have unrelenting optimism that Marylanders can meet this moment,” he added. “Together, let’s ensure Wes Moore and Aruna Miller are our next governor and lieutenant governor!”

On his campaign Twitter, Wes Moore commended Perez for a well fought campaign.

As stated by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters, the race remained a tight squeeze through Friday afternoon with Maryland law limiting the counting of mail in ballots until the Thursday after Election Day.

On Friday, Wes Moore became the projected winner of the Democratic primary for Maryland governor, The Associated Press reported. He will take on Republican Dan Cox, who has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

Moore, a third-generation Marylander born in Takoma Park, Maryland, who wrote a 2010 autobiography, “The Other Wes Moore,” is the former CEO of the poverty-fighting organization, The Robin Hood Foundation.

A combat veteran, who describes himself as “data-driven and heart-led,” said his mission running for governor is to aim for a state that leaves nobody behind.

With 84% of the estimated total vote in, Moore received 33.8% (169,961) of the state’s Democratic vote. Perez received 28.3% (142,650), followed by State Comptroller Peter Franchot with 21.5% (108,060).

Polls had shown it as a tight race, with both Perez and Moore closing strong for months, followed by Franchot, who conceded Friday afternoon.

Franchot congratulated Moore while thanking his supporters in a tweet on Friday.

“With voting rights, Roe v. Wade, health care, common sense gun control, climate change, and economic stability being the key issues of this moment, it is vital that Marylanders come together to elect a Democrat to be the next governor,” Franchot said.

If elected, Moore would be the state’s first Black governor.

There were 10 candidates in the Democratic primary for governor, including Perez, a former U.S. labor secretary and former Democratic Party chair; and Franchot, the state’s four-term state comptroller.

WTOP staff contributed to this report.

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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