WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) spoke today at the Democratic Issues Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, to introduce the Governor of Maryland, Wes Moore. Below is a transcription of his remarks"
"You're about to see someone exciting. Some person who represents everything we've been talking about this morning, everything we did in the 117th Congress. [A person who] represents an extraordinary spokesperson for what we're talking about as Democrats, what we want to see for our people, and what we want to see adopted not only at the federal level but also at the state level. We are so proud to see Lisa Blunt Rochester. I came, when I introduce her, at an event for Lisa, I tell people because they are, of course, Delawareans, and I say to them, well, I represent suburban Delaware, we call it Maryland.
"I am so pleased, but boy, am I proud to be in Maryland. I'm proud to introduce our Governor. Our Governor is the epitome of what Democrats are all about. Our Governor is the 63rd Governor of the state of Maryland. Not only is he the first and only African-American to have been the Governor of this state, but he also joined the cabinet as well. We have three statewide elected officials. The fourth is elected by the legislature itself. Two of them are African-American, and some of you know, Terry Leirman, his daughter, Brooke, was elected as the first woman comptroller in the state's history as well. And our colleague Anthony Brown, as all of you know, was elected the first African-American attorney general of our state.
“The young man that I'm about to introduce is a Marylander. He was born in Takoma Park. Takoma Park, as some of you know, is just north of the border, the northeast border of Washington, D.C. It is a vibrant political community. He is a Marylander by birth and a Marylander by choice. His mother's name is Joy, and he is the epitome of the joy of politics, the joy of service, the joy of commitment. His father died when he was three years of age, of an illness that could have been curable. But unfortunately, they didn't have access to the kind of health care that we want every American to have access to, as a result of his dad died of a curable illness.
"That had a profound effect on the young Wes Moore. His mother had to move to New York City, to the Bronx, where she had relatives, and she struggled. So he knows struggle. He knows being the son of a single mom how difficult it was. He knows also that - Kweisi you can empathize with this. and you've maybe talked to Wes about this. I can empathize with it because as a young man, I didn't have it all together. So, his mom said, young man, I'm going to send you to Valley Forge Military School so that you can learn self-discipline and learn service and learn about patriotism.
"He is so proud of the valley of graduating in Valley Forge, which is also a junior college that he wears his junior college ring on his finger. And then he went to Afghanistan, graduated as a Second Lieutenant on a battlefield commission, and as a Captain in the 82nd Airborne, one of the most elite organizations in our armed forces and he led men and women in battle in Afghanistan. So he's been at the point of the spear. When he came back, he came back with service in his mind. But he also came back and started businesses, participated in businesses, and he knows business. He knows how to get things done. He went to Johns Hopkins University. When he came back, one of the great universities in our country and one of the great universities, private university, he adds quickly, having been a University of Maryland graduate.
"He excelled as he has excelled in almost everything he's done. He was Phi Beta Kappa, he was a Rhodes scholar, he got a masters degree at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He was someone who could have made literally millions and millions of dollars in the private sector and was very successful.
"But he returned. He went to work to lead as the President of the Robin Hood Foundation. Some of you know about the Robin Hood Foundation. In the course of his service and Robinhood, that he raised over $600 million for people in need, lifting them up. Robinhood was located in New York and he commuted back in to always stay involved. He's a Marylander by choice. And he excelled in our state. He had a small business that helped educate young people who needed a hand up so that they could get into higher education, as he had done through his experience at the community college. I was knocking on doors. As all of you know, we had a number of extraordinary candidates. Many of you, you knew that former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, and former County Executive of Prince George's County Rushern Baker, the Comptroller of our state Peter Franchot, and others. Extraordinarily qualified and capable people, very frankly and Kweisi and I have talked about it, I thought I'm going to stay out of this race.
"We'll stay out of this race because I knew everybody that was running. I worked with them and they were all really good people. And then as December came and went and then January came and went, I saw this young man do what I think we need in America and now and which I think we are giving to people. And by the way, this Regional [Leadership] Council is all about: telling what we have done and how much of a difference it's made in their life. And I saw this young man, and I've been in politics now for 120 years, and I said, This guy's got it.
"And when I endorsed him in [April], I said, all of these candidates are good kids, and I see in Wes Moore a person who can do what the American people and Marylanders need: inspire. Inspiration, giving to them a sense of possibilities, giving them a sense that they see me. The Governor sees me, and inspire, and by the way, he is in that sense, like our leader, Hakeem Jeffries, who inspires people by his message and by his attention and by his focus. This young man who's now our Governor, is already days into his governorship, making an extraordinary difference and dealing with the theme of his governorship and the theme of his campaign, which is our theme, which is the Democratic theme: leave no one behind. That was the motto of the 82nd Airborne. It's the motto of our services. It's the motto of our country. But certainly it is the motto of our party.
“Ladies and gentlemen, if you have a hat on, hold onto it. If you have a seat, you may not want to stay in it - because I am introducing to you, I think, one of the most exciting leaders in our country. Ladies and gentlemen, the 63rd Governor of the state of Maryland Wes Moore."