Where did Wes Moore go? In first months, governor crisscrossed Maryland, spent time in D.C. and called Obama
He’s donned yarmulkes in synagogues and talked about his faith in churches, sat with grieving families and rallied crowds of thousands, toured small businesses and met with executives in the United Kingdom, cheered at Orioles games and spent evenings at the White House.
Gov. Wes Moore has had a whirlwind first six months in office as Maryland’s 63rd chief executive and, by all accounts, a rising star in national Democratic politics.
While Moore’s office releases a daily public schedule and frequently promotes many of his events, speeches and meetings, The Baltimore Sun received his full calendar through a Maryland Public Information Act request.
It reveals meetings and trips that were not announced at the time — from a call with former President Barack Obama to a day in New York City meeting with CEOs and lunching at an expensive club.
Though it doesn’t include every meeting or phone call, the calendar offers a comprehensive look at where Moore has spent his time.
Beyond the state capital of Annapolis, he’s been in Baltimore, his home before the move, more than anywhere else. In his first six months, 42 days included events or meetings in the city, followed by parts of 34 days in Washington, D.C.; 22 days in Prince George’s County, and 16 days in Baltimore County.
Moore has run an aggressive speechmaking circuit and travel schedule since he took office.
That’s manifested in much of his time spent among Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington. But it’s also meant frequent visits to communities around the state, including Republican-rich areas like Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore.
In Garrett and Allegany counties on Feb. 6, he toured fire departments and posed for a photo with a copy of Allegany Magazine (the issue with him on the cover) while visiting a hardware store.
In Queen Anne’s County on Feb. 14, he browsed the Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center and met elementary school students with the state Senate Republican leader, Steve Hershey.
He threw on a hard hat for a tour of a quartz minerals plant in Cecil County in March. He donned safety goggles while hoisting a beer during a tour of Heavy Seas Brewery in Baltimore County in February — before switching to a white wine at Anne Arundel County’s Vineyards at Dodon for Maryland Wine Month in March.
Moore also gave about 85 speeches — typically to community or business groups, at conferences or political functions — in the six months. It’s a long list, from a Maryland Chamber of Commerce event and an annual Maryland Hospital Association gathering to Holocaust Remembrance Day at an Anne Arundel County synagogue and National Prayer Day at a Prince George’s County church.
“The goals are generally to make sure that people know the governor is visible in the community and that the governor has an opportunity to listen to Marylanders,” David Turner, Moore’s top communications aide and adviser, said of the frequent trips.
Four counties didn’t see a visit from the governor in his first six months in office: Caroline, Carroll, St. Mary’s and Somerset. Following the six-month mark, Moore went to Carroll on Aug. 8 after a storm toppled utility poles, severing power and closing roads.
As well as crisscrossing the state and popping into neighboring Washington in his first half-year in office, he made two international trips and eight visits to other states.
In March, his first out-of-state trip was following Orioles CEO and Chairman John Angelos to the Atlanta Braves’ home for a tour of The Battery entertainment district and then on to Florida for an Orioles spring training game. His administration has embraced Angelos’ vision, one popular among team owners, for a similar “live-work-play” district at Camden Yards.
In May, Moore returned to Atlanta to give the commencement address at Morehouse College, a historically Black university. A few weeks before that, he and his wife, Dawn Moore, attended the Kentucky Derby.
Most of his longer trips focused on business. A four-day sojourn in Oxford, England, in April was described as a “trade mission,” in which the governor and his staff met with potential trade partners and spoke at a global conference of social and business leaders.
It was familiar territory for Moore, who studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar and worked as an investment banker in London.
Moore’s schedule shows three days of meetings and other activities at the Skoll World Forum, while staying at the Randolph Hotel in Oxford, and then a stay at a DoubleTree hotel a few steps from the Tower of London.
Another multiday trip with staff came the next month with the annual Maryland retail and commercial real estate conference in Las Vegas known as the Maryland Party. Based at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, Moore’s schedule shows a full day of meetings May 22 with executives from real estate development firms, as well as those from gambling companies Caesars Entertainment and MGM.
Those meeting with Moore included David Bramble, managing partner of MCB Real Estate, which owns Harborplace; Mark Renbaum, the CEO of MLR Partners, a commercial real estate firm in Baltimore, and representatives from Tradepoint Atlantic, which is redeveloping the former Bethlehem Steel plant in Baltimore County.
Another business-focused trip a week earlier didn’t make it on to Moore’s public schedule. Moore started his day May 15 in New York City and met with four executives in their offices: Aryeh Bourkoff, CEO of the LionTree Advisors investment banking firm; Charles Phillips, managing partner of Recognize, a technology growth equity firm; Barry Diller, chairman of IAC, a holding company that owns other businesses, and Dan Rosen, of the Rosen Partners real estate development firm.
Moore sat on IAC’s board of directors until his election in November, and he maintained shares valued at $125,000 when he created a blind trust in April. Turner would not discuss the purpose or topics of specific meetings.
The day included lunch at Core, a Manhattan club with annual membership fees reportedly in the tens of thousands of dollars. Moore campaign spokesperson Connor Lounsbury said it was a “political lunch” and the governor’s campaign committee is reimbursing the host, Lounsbury said. He declined to specify what the lunch was for or the host. The governor is not a club member.
The governor traveled back to Annapolis after the fundraiser, but returned June 19-20 to New York City. Moore’s staff redacted that part of the schedule, saying it covered personal time.
Other meetings with CEOs were closer to home. Moore’s schedule shows phone calls or in-person meetings in Annapolis with the leaders of the airline JetBlue, transportation company CSX, wind energy company Ørsted, Chesapeake Utilities, and The Stronach Group, which owns Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and Laurel Park. A day of media interviews and meetings in Washington on June 6 included a scheduled meeting with Brian Cornell, the CEO of Target.
With the governor’s office declining to specify the purpose of individual meetings, the topics of discussion are opaque — though some of the firms have ongoing, high-profile business with the state.
A former author, businessman and nonprofit leader who routinely rubbed shoulders with power brokers and celebrities before his inauguration, Moore has met with powerful figures as governor on more than a few occasions.
He called Obama for a scheduled hourlong talk the night of March 23.
He’s talked to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who he worked for as a White House fellow, twice and participated in an event with her at a Stanford University Board of Overseers meeting in Washington on Feb. 26.
He’s been to the White House at least three times. Each visit came in February — two were on back-to-back days for a pair of National Governors Association events and the other was for a Black History Month celebration he attended Feb. 27 with Maryland’s first lady.
The governor attended Biden’s third State of the Union address Feb. 7. In late April, to start a slew of events during the celebrity-filled White House Correspondents’ Association weekend, he attended a reception where Biden made his first pitch to donors for his 2024 reelection campaign.
Other trips to the nation’s capital included an exclusive, off-the-record dinner for the Alfalfa Club, a social organization of politicians and corporate leaders, on Jan. 28. Other attendees included top federal officials and executives such as Apple CEO Tim Cook and JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon, according to Politico.
At a reception April 28 before the correspondents’ association dinner, Moore was the guest of former Michael Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey, along with the likes of U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and actors Liev Schreiber, Justin Theroux, Kyra Sedgwick and Bradley Whitford, per Politico.
At other times in Washington, Moore attended a reception for the prime minister of Ireland at the home of that country’s ambassador to the U.S. and had dinners or meetings with ambassadors from Israel, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.
The ambassador for Mexico visited the State House in Annapolis for a meeting in March. Other visitors to the governor’s office included NBA Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson and Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr.
He attended at least six home games during the first three months of the season, plus the spring training game. He’s taken batting practice, met the players and thrown out the first pitch on the Orioles’ home Opening Day.
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He’s also stayed in touch with Angelos, the CEO, as negotiations have continued. Meetups include a scheduled stop by the owner’s suite at Oriole Park on Opening Day in April, visits with Angelos in Georgia and Florida in March, and a Feb. 1 call during a busy afternoon in Annapolis. The 30-minute call, on the day the Orioles declined a five-year extension in favor of pursuing a longer deal, was scheduled for immediately after Moore delivered his first State of the State speech and just before he held a reception with dozens of guests.
Another scheduled call with Angelos appeared July 19, Moore’s six-month anniversary in office.
Other sporting events have also caught the attention of the new governor, a former high school basketball standout and a wide receiver for Division III Johns Hopkins University. On March 8, he attended a Washington Wizards home game. The next week, he and his family took in a University of Maryland women’s basketball victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Performances attended include a Bruce Springsteen concert that inaugurated the renovated CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, a performance of “A Nice Indian Boy” at the Olney Theatre in Montgomery County, and comedian Chris Rock’s live Netflix special at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore. The latter two were redacted from his official calendar.
More redactions for personal business left 15 full days on the calendar, almost all Saturdays or Sundays, in which the governor’s location was blacked out.
Six fell within the roughly three weeks reviewed for July, when the governor had fewer public events in Maryland and spent multiple days in Sun Valley, Idaho, at an annual conference of business leaders and celebrities, and in Jamaica, where he has family. On the latter trip, he gave a commencement address and met with the U.S. ambassador.
Since the six-month mark on July 19, the governor’s out-of-state travel has included fundraising and personal time in Los Angeles, Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and, in recent days, the Hamptons on Long Island, New York.