47 ABC catches up with MD Gubernatorial candidates at Tawes Crab and Clam Bake
CRISFIELD, Md. – It’s not often that you find delicious local seafood and the biggest political event of the year in one place. But, that’s exactly what happens each year at the Tawes Crab and Clam Bake in Crisfield. Just 40 days shy of Maryland’s general election, gubernatorial candidates talked policy with reporters. However, that wasn’t without taking a few shots at each other.
Dan Cox has served as Maryland’s Delegate representing District 4, is a small businessman, and Constitutional attorney. His top issues on the campaign trail are traditionally conservative ones; including defending law enforcement, and 2nd Amendment rights. Cox also is also pro-choice on abortion, and vows to defend parental choice. He also promises to combat what he calls “improper and wrong gerrymandering tactics of Democrats” amid redistricting efforts.
While Cox provided limited opportunity for reporters to ask him questions, he put a large focus on responding to his opponent’s support of a recent court decision. A Montgomery County judge ruled that Maryland could begin counting votes early, like many other states do. While Cox says he supports early vote counting, he takes issue with how the judge’s decision was made.
“[The judge] had a very reasoned, careful decision. I respect that. The issue in front of us is the fact that the Governor vetoed the bill [to allow early vote counting], and a judge does not have constitutional authority to veto the governors veto. To override a Governor’s veto, you have to have the legislature do it,” said Cox. “In the middle of an election, [my opponent] Wes Moore is siding with the Board of Elections to begin counting early against the constitutional process. There’s no emergency. They knew about this during the legislative session, because these are automatically requested ballots, most of them. So half a million ballots automatically requested.”
Cox recently filed an appeal against the judge’s decision. He warned that if it isn’t reversed, democracy could be at risk in the state of Maryland.
“I can assure you that there’s one thing I believe, and it’s the civil rights of all Marylanders. That has been my passion. You can go look at my legislative career,” said Cox. “I stand with the Constitution, and for the people, because if we lose that we lose the opportunity to have a voice – if you let it slip somewhere, it slips in another place. That’s what’s at stake here.”
Cox also accused his opponent, a veteran, of stolen valor, and claimed that he is lying about his residency.
“[Moore] misrepresented the truth. He claims that he is from [Baltimore] and he’s not. And then, he claims he has a bronze star of valor, when he does not. That’s an affront of every veteran in the state, and it’s an affront to every person in Baltimore City,” said Cox. “Why would we believe someone who says he’s from Baltimore when he’s not?”
Wes Moore is a combat veteran, author, small business owner, Rhodes Scholar, and former CEO of an anti-poverty organization.
Top issues for Moore include bolstering the local economy, transportation, education, and supporting unions. Moore also promises to fight for the rights of gender equality, the LGBTQ+ community, civil rights, and social justice. He also includes supporting opportunities for Black families, veterans, protecting reproductive rights, and fighting for seniors and those living with disabilities as top issues. Moore also plans to tackle health care improvments, fighting climate change, supporting public safety, and reforming the criminal justice system.
Moore promised to keep the Eastern Shore a top priority at the Tawes Crab and Clam Bake.
“We’re going to be spending a lot of time out here. When we say that we have a leave no one behind agenda, it means making sure that we are hitting every part of the state, spending time with people, and not just hearing about the concerns and the hopes, but also making sure we’re acting on it on it,” said Moore. “We are going to be moving actively, not just throughout the remainder of this campaign, but this is going to be our pace for our administration.”
Moore was also confronted with the issue of supporting the Montgomery County judge’s ruling on early vote counting. He defended his support of the decision.
“We have fair and transparent elections. Maryland was the only state in the country that did not allow counting prior to our election day. We waited two days after election day to actually start counting the earlier ballots. I’m happy that Maryland is actually now on pace with the rest the United States,” said Moore. “My opponent still has not accepted the results of the 2020 election. So, I don’t know why we’re waiting on him to accept the results of 2022. But, I will respect democracy. I believe democracy is something worth fighting for, and I would hope that the nominee of a major party would do the same.”
Moore also criticized Cox’s assertions that he is not telling the truth about his residency, and experience in the armed forces. “My definition of patriotism was leaving my family and going with the 82nd Airborne and leading paratroopers in Afghanistan. My opponent’s definition of patriotism was putting on a baseball cap and asking people to join him as they went to the Capital [on January 6th, 2021] to contest a legal election,” he said.