Gov. Wes Moore's message of patriotism and service could be a blueprint for Democrats in a divided US

  • Maryland Gov. Wes Moore campaigned for Josh Stein, who's running for North Carolina governor.

  • Moore's visit to North Carolina coincided with Stein's veterans coalition launch.

  • Moore's messaging on patriotism could help Democrats make inroads with voters who've drifted away.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore hit the campaign trail last week for Josh Stein, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in North Carolina, rallying veterans to back his fellow Democrat in one of the most competitive governor races in the country.

For gubernatorial aspirants, having a show of support from a sitting governor is critical, especially in a tight race.

Moore's visit to the Tar Heel State came as Stein, who is now the attorney general, launched his "Veterans for Stein" campaign coalition.

North Carolina has one of the largest populations of active-duty military personnel in the country and serves as home to nearly 800,000 veterans. So it's natural for politicians to engage with the military community. Its influence in the state runs deep.

For Moore, who served in the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army and was deployed in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2006, patriotism and service shouldn't be relegated to one particular political party or ideology.

Beginning with Moore's successful 2022 gubernatorial campaign, he's spread that message stumping for candidates across the country. And, in the process, he's sought to keep Democrats in conversations where they need to be if they're going to be a viable party in all corners of the United States.

It's an effort that Moore feels will resonate.

"There are certain things worth fighting for, and we risked our own safety for freedoms," Moore recently told Business Insider. "Some of the freedoms are on the ballot now, including the freedom to know that reproductive health should be between a woman and their doctor."

Last November, Moore came to Virginia to stump for Democratic legislative candidates, visiting the military-heavy Hampton Roads area and endorsing veterans like Michael Feggans of Virginia Beach — who was elected to the House of Delegates that month.

"[W]e're pushing back against a lot of these individual forces who are trying to claim this mantle of patriotism and are actually restricting rights in the name of patriotism," Moore told BI at the time.

With political polarization in the country becoming more hardened by the day, Democrats have a major opportunity in states like North Carolina, where there is still a significant level of split-ticket voting.

Even though former President Donald Trump won North Carolina in 2016 and 2020, Stein won his attorney general races in the same general election.

Moore feels great about Stein's chances this fall. He said the attorney general shares the values veterans are looking for, especially on issues like health care and housing affordability.

"He's consistently stood up for veterans as attorney general," the governor told BI last week. "And he'll do it as governor."

Read the original article on Business Insider