ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Wes Moore made history Wednesday after being sworn in as Maryland’s first Black governor.

The inauguration took place outside Maryland’s historic State House. Moore, who took his oath of office on Frederick Douglass’s bible, emphasized the need for unity and working together to ensure the success of all Marylanders. 

“Today is the opportunity. It is our opportunity to lead with love, it is our opportunity to create with passion, it is our opportunity to fight fearlessly for our future,” Moore said. “Our time is now.”

Moore won the general election in November by over 30 points against state delegate Dan Cox, endorsed by former president Donald Trump, and secured the most votes for any gubernatorial candidate in state history. 

Moore is only the third elected Black governor in U.S. history, and succeeds term-limited Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican who has led the state since 2015.

“He is obviously saying he is not accepting the status quo in this state. He’s not accepting the history of letting it weigh him down, I think that’s extraordinary,” said former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was in attendance at Moore’s inauguration. “He’s the real deal, he means it. I think he laid down a challenge today to the state that things are going to change, and he will be the urgent leader of that change.”

Moore credits his dedication to service to being a veteran. Having served as an Army Captain in Afghanistan, Moore spoke on the importance of moving together as a state rather than a political party.

“If we are divided, we can’t win,” Moore said. “But if we are united, we can’t lose.”

With Moore in the governor’s mansion, Democrats will control Maryland’s governorship, state house and state senate for the first time since 2014. 

Onlookers said they were “thrilled” to witness the event.

“I am just excited to have Mr. Wes Moore as a leader here in Maryland, and I know we are going to do great things under his leadership,” said Carolyn Scruggs, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Alongside Moore, Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller was sworn in as the first South Asian woman in Maryland. 

Miller immigrated to the U.S. from India when she was seven. She said her will to serve came from the desire to say “yes” to opportunities she earned, and to uplift others.

“It was always about having the courage to be my authentic self in everything,” Miller said. “But throughout our history, too many of our communities have been denied the opportunity to live fully freely and be their authentic selves.”