Sunday, May 15, 2022

Wes Moore wins, Doug Gansler a surprise second in Western Maryland Democratic Summit straw poll

Wes Moore (right) and running mate
Aruna Miller after winning 2022
Western Maryland Democratic Summit
straw poll in MD governor race

Democrat Wes Moore continues to gain momentum as he attempts to break away from a crowded field in the July 19 Maryland gubernatorial primary, taking first place with 153 votes in what many consider the first major contest in a statewide race, the 2022 Western Maryland Democratic Summit straw poll. That might not have been too shocking, but the real surprise was the second-place finish by former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who beat once-assumed-to-be-frontrunner Peter Franchot 7 to 1 in the poll with 71 votes.

Former Montgomery County Councilmember and U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez took a distant third place with 48 votes, John King with 45 votes, Peter Franchot in a big dropoff at only 10 votes, Ashwani Jain at 5 votes, Rushern Baker and Jon Baron tied at 2 votes apiece, and Jerome Segal bringing up the rear with a single vote.

"Today's straw poll results from the #WesternMaryland #DemSummit2022 speak for themselves," Moore tweeted after the vote. "Our movement is strong statewide, and Marylanders are excited about the opportunity our vision presents. Together, we will build a state where we leave no one behind."

Doug Gansler

The Gansler campaign was thrilled with the result, which it did not find as surprising, because their candidate has been gaining notice locally for having a presence west of Hagerstown in this campaign. “Candidates like former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, a Democrat, and Kelly M. Schulz, a Republican, former state delegate and labor secretary under Gov. Larry Hogan, have come through the region during the course of the campaign” the Cumberland Times-News editorial board opined. “[M]ost [of the other candidates] have been ghosts, relegated to the eastern half of the state, more a series of pictures and words than person.” 

Gansler and running mate Candace Hollingsworth, a former mayor of Hyattsville, thanked voters for the strong show of support at the Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone, Maryland. “I’m grateful to all the Western Maryland Democrats who cast their vote for Candace and me in today’s straw poll, and as governor I will make sure the rural parts of Maryland help lead the way as we build a better, safer and greener future for our state,” Gansler said in a statement. “This is a two-person race, and crime is the number one issue voters care about. As a former prosecutor and attorney general, I am the candidate best-equipped — in fact, I am the only candidate at all equipped — to address the massive rise in crime across our state and make Maryland safe.”

“Peter Franchot’s entire rationale for his candidacy just completely fell apart; he is not the candidate who runs strongest statewide. Doug beat Franchot 7 to 1 in a region of the state where Franchot himself claims to be strong,” Gansler campaign manager Shaun Daniels said after the vote. “This is the first public poll where Democrats put pen to paper to publicly declare their choices. Doug Gansler placed second, far outpacing the next place finishers. It is obvious the field is narrowing. We have more than a million dollars on hand and every Democrat in Maryland is going to know that Doug and Candace are the best candidates, not just to take on Kelly Schulz in November, but to keep us safe.”

Gansler has been endorsed by Western Maryland’s only Democratic Senator, Sen. Ron Young.


  1. No thank you on Wes Moore.

  2. While Gansler is running around claiming he beat Franchot 7:1 . Wes Moore beat Franchot 15:1 and for every vote Gansler got Wes Moore got two. So he beat Gansler by double.