Wes Moore Creates Fundraising Committee Ahead of Possible Run for Governor

    Wes Moore, the Baltimore-based nonprofit executive, is one step closer to entering the 2022 Democratic primary for governor. Moore created a campaign fundraising committee with the State Board of Elections on Wednesday, Wes Moore for Maryland, which enables him to begin raising money for a possible bid.

    Sources said that Moore, who disclosed in late February that he was “seriously considering” a run for governor, isn’t quite ready to announce his candidacy yet. But the new fundraising entity is another sign that he is preparing to become a candidate, with a final decision likely within the next few weeks.

    Craig A. Thompson, a partner at the Baltimore law firm Venable LLC and mentor of Moore’s, is the chairman of Wes Moore for Maryland. Lissa Muscatine, a Bethesda resident and co-owner of Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C., is the campaign treasurer.

    But there’s more news on Moore: Deadline reported Tuesday that Moore’s best-selling book, “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates,” is being optioned for the big screen. Basketball star Stephen Curry is one of two executive producers on the project.

    The book compares the author’s life of military service, high-level education and professional success with the fate of another Baltimorean named Wes Moore, who is serving a life sentence in prison.

    Moore isn’t the only possible candidate for governor setting up fundraising entities.

    Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has set up a so-called 527 organization through the IRS called Every Zip Code Counts, which enables him to raise and spend money for certain political activities. If he becomes an official candidate, he’ll have to set up a state fundraising committee. His former state fundraising entity, Friends of Tom Perez, which he used for campaigns for the Montgomery County Council and state attorney general, is inactive.

    Another Democrat who is exploring a possible bid for governor, former federal official and nonprofit executive Jon Baron, has also set up a state campaign fund, Jon Baron for Maryland, ahead of a possible run.

    Three Democrats have announced gubernatorial bids so far — Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot, former U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. and former Obama administration official Ashwani Jain — and they all have state campaign committees.

    Former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III has said he plans to run, and former state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is also expected to enter the race soon. They both have existing campaign accounts. Another potential Democratic contender, Baltimore County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr., also has an open campaign finance account.

    On the Republican side, state Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz has set up a gubernatorial fundraising committee, Kelly Schulz for Governor, and Robin Ficker, who runs for office every election cycle, has at least three campaign fundraising committees open, according to State Board of Elections records.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Founding Editor Josh Kurtz is a veteran chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He was an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, for eight years, and for eight years was the editor of E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill. For 6 1/2 years Kurtz wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz regularly gives speeches and appears on TV and radio shows to discuss Maryland politics.