Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Saturday went to Virginia to stump for Democratic legislative candidates.
Moore, a US Army veteran, took his message of reclaiming patriotism to military-heavy Hampton Roads.
"It was great being out there just to remind people that elections have consequences," Moore told Insider.
For Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland, it all comes back to service, no matter the location.
So it's fitting that Moore on Saturday found himself in the military-and defense-heavy Hampton Roads region of Virginia as he stumped for Democratic candidates ahead of Tuesday's critical legislative elections in the Commonwealth.
With all 140 seats in the legislature up for grabs, Moore made several stops across the state ahead of what will be a defining election for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. The Republican is looking to hold the House of Delegates and flip the state Senate in order to enact a conservative agenda in a state where Democrats have largely been ascendant over the past decade.
At a spirited Democratic Party canvas launch in Virginia Beach, a former Republican stronghold that has morphed into a purple battleground, Moore boosted the candidacies of state Sen. Aaron Rouse and House of Delegates 97th District Democratic nominee Michael Feggans. Feggans is running against GOP nominee Karen Greenhalgh in one of the most competitive races in the Commonwealth.
As Moore, a US Army veteran who served in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2006, extended his political support to Feggans, a 20-year US Air Force veteran, he did so in a city where Democrats for years often ceded swaths of territory to Republicans. But those days are over.
In Moore's own gubernatorial race last year, he insisted that Democrats couldn't allow the GOP to define patriotism.
And in an interview on Saturday, Moore told Insider that the issue remained as salient as ever.
"I think it was important to come down and let the Commonwealth know that not only do we support them, but also that we'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," the governor said. "So we're just letting folks in the Commonwealth know to keep fighting and that victory is ahead."
"It was great being out there just to remind people that elections have consequences," he continued. "I see how hard these candidates and these veterans are moving and pushing and how meaningful it is for me to see that."
Feggans, whose race could determine control of the House of Delegates, embraced Moore's focus on service and military issues.
"As a fellow veteran, Governor Moore's message of reclaiming patriotism resonated with me," he said on Saturday. "Hearing his story and what he's done in Maryland was a welcomed message that reflects exactly what this campaign is about."
While Moore may lead a neighboring state, the outcome of Virginia's legislative races and its public policy direction will be felt well beyond the Commonwealth's borders, notably on environmental matters.
"The Chesapeake Bay really is a shared heirloom that we have, and so we have to be able to work aggressively to be able to address that," the governor said.
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