Wes Moore and Dan Cox discuss the following topics: abortion, January 6, the racial wealth gap and education

By Tashi McQueen, AFRO political writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
[email protected]

Maryland Public Television hosted the only scheduled one-on-one debate between Democratic nominee Wes Moore and Republican Rep. Dan Cox (R-MD-04) on Oct. 12.

The debate allowed them to prove their credibility and present their programs and aspirations for Maryland just before the midterm elections. Both candidates came out with something to prove, though it may have been a losing battle for Cox, as he’s down 32 points in the polls.

Health disparities

Through Moore’s motto, “leave no one behind,” Moore said he would ensure health disparities were addressed if elected. The Army vet vowed to ensure equity is a crucial framework for addressing healthcare and pledged to help older people “age in place and with dignity”.

“Every community should be seen and heard,” Moore said. “The reality is that many communities have not been.”

Cox said he would provide community health clinics and work to expand health care across the state.

Legal Cannabis

AFRO News editor Alexis Taylor asked about fairness in the legal marijuana industry, which raked in $600 million last year, according to reports from state regulators . Taylor asked the candidates what they would do to ensure African American entrepreneurs in Maryland are included in the lucrative legal marijuana industry as business owners.

Moore acknowledged the problem and said his administration would ensure that legal marijuana rollouts are fair, from licensing to accessory suppliers. The author also plans to examine the overt criminalization of the black community.

“We need to get back to fairness and equal justice under the law,” Cox said. “Everyone should be treated the same.”

Cox supports the release of those criminalized for small possessions of marijuana, which President Biden recently called for, and assures them of a path to recovery.

Inflation and the Racial Wealth Gap

Taylor has sparked a conversation about the racial wealth gap in Maryland, especially at a time when inflation is driving up the cost of food and gasoline. She noted how studies show black Americans earn “$0.71 for every white dollar” and asked what every man would do to address the pay inequity.

Moore acknowledged the issue as a long-standing problem that needs to be resolved in meaningful steps.

“The fact that we have an eight-to-one wealth gap is real,” Moore said. “We need to focus on creating pathways to work, wealth and an education system that teaches young people how to be not just employees but also employers.”

On reparations, Cox said he would ensure those who lost their businesses and wealth due to Covid-19 lockdowns get back on track.

Abortions, vaccines, the government and you

Tracee Wilkins, a local reporter not affiliated with AFRO, deepened the conversation on health care and reproductive rights. She asked Cox about his refusal to allow the government to monitor his body regarding vaccines, but endorsed him on female bodies regarding abortions.

Wilkins highlighted Cox’s support for 14 bills restricting abortion access during his tenure as delegate and reminded viewers that his “reason for running” was to oppose vaccination mandates.

Moore said he views abortion as a health right and wants Maryland to be a “safe haven” for abortion rights. He thinks that women should be able to decide to have an abortion with their doctor.

Elections and January 6

Throughout Cox’s campaign, he has been called out for his involvement in events relating to Jan. 6, 2021. At the Maryland Gubernatorial Forum sponsored by the MSU spokesperson, Cox admitted he bought tickets for himself and his children to attend the Trump rally which later turned violent. He continued to refuse to fund buses for the rally despite his Tweeter announcing his involvement.

“I am co-hosting two buses for the Million MAGA march/rally with the Frederick County Conservative Club in support of President Trump @realDonaldTrump on January 6, 2021, at #StopTheFlight Request NO #ChinaBiden – Nope #CCP #Fraud @Mike_Pence“, Cox said.

Cox’s push for the idea of ​​mistrust in elections could be a serious problem for Maryland if he is elected. Trump’s ideals have already created a movement to restrict the accessibility of voting in the United States. severe impact Blacks and other minorities.

Moore thinks there are no current problems with Maryland’s electoral system. He called Cox’s rhetoric of distrust “dangerous”.

Cox continued to say he would accept “fair and constitutionally abiding” results, but declined to say whether he would explicitly accept the results.

American political divisions have deepened since Trump’s presidencyso this possible division is a pressing concern for all Marylanders.

Election day is November 8. Early voting takes place from October 27 to November 3.

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