Md. Gov.-elect Wes Moore talks with WTOP as future first family prepares for Annapolis move (and a puppy)

Come January, Marylanders will have a new governor.

And his kids will be getting a new puppy.

Beyond the shifting political landscape in Annapolis, the inauguration of Gov.-elect Wes Moore — Maryland’s first Black governor — also means big changes for the future first family of the state.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan sat down with Moore in Baltimore Wednesday to discuss what’s on Moore’s mind as the transition looms — and his take on some issues he was surely never asked about in the gubernatorial debates: Does he think Old Bay is overrated? What’s his favorite Christmas song? And just what kind of dog will the Moores be bringing with them to Government House in Annapolis?

Moore, a combat veteran, bestselling author and former CEO of a poverty-fighting group, has never held elected office. Moore said he’s preparing to take the reins with a sense of humility.

“I’ve never been an elected official before. But I’m walking in knowing that I’ve done the work. And we’re prepared,” Moore said. “So I’m feeling good about that.”

Maryland Gov.-elect Wes Moore sits down for an interview with WTOP on Nov. 30, 2022. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Moore also pointed out that the current governors in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey are all first-time office-holders.

His wife, Dawn, who was chief of staff to then Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, is no novice in the world of Maryland politics. Moore called her a grounding presence and a guide — “almost an air traffic controller” as they navigated the twists and turns of the campaign. Before defeating Republican Dan Cox earlier this month, Moore bested a crowded field of nine other Democrats.

“None of this would have been real without her,” Moore said of Dawn, who, he added, had “ultimate veto power” over his run.

Amid the hullabaloo of the political campaign Moore said his two children — Mia, 11, and James, 9 — have been “amazingly unaffected by all this,” for which he credited his family.

Ahead of the big move to the governor’s mansion, the family is about to grow larger by one furry member.

“We made a deal with the kids about a year and a half ago, that come November, win lose or draw — they were going to get a puppy,” Moore said. “And so there will be a puppy going to Annapolis.”

They still haven’t picked one out yet. The only criteria is that the dog has be to hypoallergenic because Dawn is allergic.

“And it needs to be a dog that they both can agree on … They have some different opinions coming in,” the governor-elect said. “So this is going to be interesting.”

If you’re wondering, yes, Moore considers himself an Old Bay enthusiast.

“For me, … it’s one of these unique spices that literally can go on breakfast, lunch, or dinner,” he said.


“You can absolutely put Old Bay on eggs — and I do,” Moore said. “It adds a level of intensity, and spice, and flavor, — and nostalgia, in many ways, to everything that you eat.”

With the holidays approaching, Moore said he planned to keep the tradition of decking the halls of the state house with Christmas trees from around the state of Maryland.

“We’re a big holiday family,” Moore said. “We take Christmas very seriously in our household. And so I would absolutely imagine that not only is that going to continue, as our family moves into Government House, I can see our kids playing a very big role as to what the decorations look like.”

Moore said he typically starts listening to Christmas music right around this time of year — and he does have a favorite.

“When you hear ‘Let It Snow’ by Boyz II Men, you know the season is now upon us,” he said.

Wes Moore talks about his family with WTOP's Kate Ryan.
Wes Moore talks with WTOP's Kate Ryan about the future of a puppy in Annapolis.
What are Wes Moore's thoughts on Old Bay?
How seriously will Christmas be taken in the Moore household?



Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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