Wes Moore made history this week when he was elected Maryland’s first Black governor — and says the exciting thing about his victory was that “the state spoke with a unified voice.”

“The thing that was really exciting, once the numbers started coming in, was how we won: that we were winning in urban areas, rural areas, suburban areas,” Moore told CBS News’ Gayle King. “We just won across the state. Democrats. Independents. And we took a huge swath of Republicans.”

“And so it was exciting that the state spoke with a unified voice, that we were tired of being at each other’s throats,” he said.

Moore defeated Republican candidate Dan Cox on Tuesday with 59.6% of the vote. He campaigned on issues like creating equal opportunity and ending child poverty, and gave a victory speech about maintaining hope in the face of cynicism.

He is just the third Black governor elected in U.S. history, and said the moment he found out he won was “remarkable.”

His team was in the “war room” at the time, where people were crunching numbers.

“A little after the polls closed we were watching some of these other results coming in, and then my campaign manager raised his finger and said, ‘Hold on,’ and he said, ‘We just got the word. We just won.’ And the room just erupted,” Moore said. 

His term as governor will mark his first time in public office. Before running, Moore was CEO of Robin Hood Foundation, a nonprofit that works to alleviate problems caused by poverty in New York City. He was a Rhodes Scholar, and studied at Oxford University after graduating from Valley Forge Military College and Johns Hopkins University. 

Moore was a U.S. Army captain and paratrooper deployed in Afghanistan.

As governor, he said he plans to work collaboratively and across political parties to address problems.

“I know that if we aren’t dealing with the systems that continue to allow people to fall between the cracks, we will just find ourselves repeatedly cleaning up the debris that comes from broken systems,” he said. 

Contributing: Caitlin O’Kane

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