House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer endorsed a Baltimore-based author in Maryland’s crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary Thursday, crossing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who is supporting a former Democratic National Committee head.
Hoyer is throwing his support behind Wes Moore, an Afghanistan War veteran and New York Times bestselling author, in the primary to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Moore most recently led the Robin Hood Foundation, an anti-poverty non-profit, stepping down in 2021 to launch his gubernatorial campaign.
“While there are many great candidates in this year’s race, Wes stands out as a candidate whose experience, vision, and talent can lead Maryland toward a brighter future by inspiring our people — particularly our young people — to work together to face our toughest challenges,” Hoyer told Politico of his endorsement.
I am deeply humbled to receive the endorsement of @LeaderHoyer, who sees the momentum of our movement and knows we have the vision and leadership to deliver economic opportunity for families and lead Maryland into the future. #MooreForMaryland https://t.co/DvogipfqKD
— Wes Moore for Maryland Governor (@iamwesmoore) April 29, 2022
The move puts Hoyer at odds with Pelosi, a Baltimore native whose father and brother both served as mayor of the city. Pelosi endorsed former Obama administration Labor Secretary and DNC chairman Tom Perez for the executive role. She cited his electability, as well as being “compassionate” and a “good listener” for her support. (RELATED: DNC Chair Tom Perez Complains That Voters Influenced By Church)
Democrats view the Maryland governorship as one of their biggest pickup opportunities, despite the fact that Hogan is one of the most popular executives in the country. The state has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush in 1988, and has elected only two Republican governors since 1970.
Hogan has endorsed former Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz to succeed him, while former President Donald Trump has endorsed Del. Dan Cox. Robin Ficker, a former attorney and well-known basketball heckler, is also running in the Republican primary.