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Oprah Winfrey shares why the Capitol riot inspired Wes Moore to run for governor

Winfrey and Moore first met in 2010 working on turning his book "The Other Wes Moore" into a film. They've been fast friends ever since.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Oprah Winfrey has never been afraid of making history. But on Thursday, she returned to the state where she spent many of her formative career years to stand beside a friend, while he did the history-making. The longtime talk-show host introduced Gov. Wes Moore at his inaugural ceremony, where he became the first Black governor elected in the state of Maryland

Winfrey, who moved to Baltimore in 1976 to co-anchor the 6 p.m. news at WJZ, described the Free State as a place where people "plant the seeds of their wildest dreams, and watch those seeds grow into reality." 

"Maryland is full to the brim with opportunity," the former Baltimore anchor said. 'It was back then, it is now. And I know that with Wes Moore as your governor Maryland's best days lie ahead."

For her, Maryland became the place where she discovered who she truly was and how she could make a difference in others' lives. Winfrey expressed her excitement at Moore now getting the chance to do the very same for the place he calls home. 

"I always walk away from a conversation with Wes Moore with a new perspective," Winfrey said. "With new ideas, with a new way of seeing things, a new burst of positive energy. That's what you do for people."

Winfrey and Moore first met in 2010, when she was working as an executive producer turning  his book "The Other Wes Moore" into a film. She said she could tell immediately that he was "wise beyond his years" and had a heart for service. She recalled the moment he told her he wanted to run for governor of Maryland: Jan. 6, 2021 -- the CNN monitor behind him as he video chatted with her was the first she heard of the invasion on the Capitol. Though she admitted she couldn't understand why anyone would want to enter politics at a moment of such steep division, she said she knew he had what it took. 

"Wes has had quite a few titles in his life," Winfrey said. "Author. Army captain. CEO. And now governor. The man has worn many hats. But the work he's done, the work he has always done, that has never changed ...  This might be his first day as an elected official. But Wes Moore has been a public servant, his entire adult life. And there's so much more to come. He's just getting started."

WATCH: Full Inauguration ceremony on Jan. 18, 2023. 

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