On a cool and rainy day of racing at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, several dozen spectators stayed dry and warm and fed courtesy of Maryland taxpayers who footed a $200,000 bill for a hospitality tent during the Preakness Stakes.

For years, the state government has sponsored a trackside tent, where the invited crowd includes past and present politicians, state officials and business leaders — and the 149th Preakness was no different.

The tent is off-limits to the public, though The Baltimore Banner was briefly allowed inside to interview Gov. Wes Moore. The tent was crowded with folks sipping drinks, posing for photos and watching the races — and perhaps making political or business deals.

Here are highlights of who got an invite to join Moore, Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller and their spouses in the state tent.

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State government officials

  • Ade Adebisi, commissioner, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency; with Sheila Adebisi
  • Kevin Anderson, secretary of the Department of Commerce, and seven additional agency employees
  • Marc Broady, executive director Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority; with Traci Broady
  • Everett Browning, commissioner, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency; with Markiesha Wilson.
  • Greg Cross, chair, Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority and partner with the Venable law firm.
  • Rosa Cruz, chief of staff, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development; with Jack Penafiel and one additional agency employee
  • Jonathan Daniels, executive director, Maryland Port Administration; with Adrianne Daniels
  • Natasha Dartigue, Office of the Public Defender
  • Valerie Fraling, member, Maryland Subsequent Injury Fund Board; with Dani Hill
  • Susan Lee, Maryland secretary of state
  • Dorothy Lennig, executive director, Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention and Policy; with Vernon Krause
  • Robert Lillis, commissioner on the Maryland Racing Commission
  • Randy Marriner, commissioner, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency; with David Hubbard
  • Tom Sadowski, executive director, Maryland Economic Development Corporation; with Melissa Sadowski
  • Dana Stebbins, chair of the Maryland Economic Development Commission and president and CEO of the Cornelius Group; with Sonya Coleman
  • Craig Thompson, chair of the Maryland Stadium Authority and partner at the Venable law firm; with Deborah Thompson
  • Will Tilburg, director of the Maryland Cannabis Administration; with Nadia Barbar and two additional agency employees
  • Paul Wiedefeld, secretary of the Department of Transportation; with Marcia Wiedefeld
  • Portia Wu, secretary, Department of Labor, and one additional agency employee
  • Ellen Zavian, commissioner Maryland Racing Commission
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore talks to reporters inside the state government tent at the 149th Preakness Stakes. Taxpayers footed the $200,000 cost of the tent. (Pamela Wood)

White House and federal officials

  • Shuwanza Goff, director of legislative affairs, the White House; with Kristin Lundy
  • Martin O’Malley, commissioner of the Social Security Administration, and former governor and mayor of Baltimore
  • Shalanda Young, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget; with Kate Hallahan


  • Del. Marlon Amprey of Baltimore; with Normandi Amprey
  • U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin
  • Del. Jon Cardin of Baltimore County
  • State Sen. Nick Charles of Prince George’s County; with Yvonne Harper
  • Del. Luke Clippinger of Baltimore; with Patrick Burns
  • Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson; with Lea Ferguson
  • Former Gov. Parris Glendening; with Bri Glendening
  • State Sen. Guy Guzzone of Howard County
  • Del. Andrea Harrison of Prince George’s County
  • State Sen. Nancy King of Montgomery County; with Keri King
  • Del. Jeffrie Long Jr. of Calvert and Prince George’s counties; with Ryan Turner
  • Mayor Travis Marion of Rising Sun
  • Del. David Moon of Montgomery County; with Melinda Coolidge
  • Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman; with Erin Pittman
  • Baltimore City Council member Phylicia Porter
  • Del. Sandy Rosenberg of Baltimore
  • Del. Malcolm Ruff of Baltimore; with Sydnee Ruff
  • Mayor Brandon Scott of Baltimore; with Hana Pugh
  • Del. Stephanie Smith of Baltimore; with Calvin Smith
  • State Sen. Will Smith of Montgomery County; with Camille Fesche
  • Del. Kris Valderrama of Prince George’s County; with Jameson Mata
  • Del. Jheanelle Wilkins of Montgomery County; with Prince George’s County Council member Wanika Fisher
  • Del. Nicole Williams of Prince George’s County
  • Sen. Craig Zucker of Montgomery County; with Jenny Zucker

Business and nonprofit leaders

  • Tony Coles, chair of Cerevel Therapeutics; with Robyn, Leona and Neavelle Coles
  • Sheila Curry, chair, Maryland Horse Industry Board; with Julian Curry
  • Ron Diamond, vice chair of the board, Conair; with Harland Diamond
  • Charlene Dukes, the Dukes Group and also vice-chair of the Maryland Democratic Party; with Rosie Allen-Herring
  • Josh Fidler, founding partner, Chesapeake Realty Partners
  • Mike Hankin, president and CEO of Brown Advisory; with Ann Hankin, Connor Hankin and Kierstin Merrit
  • Stu Ingis, chair of the Venable law firm; with Deanna, Walter and Charlie Ingis
  • Willarda Edwards, American Medical Association Board of Trustees
  • Eli Modlin, vice president and chief of staff, Salisbury University
  • Jason Murphy, CEO of Murphy Enterprise; with Robyn Murphy
  • Jeff Newman, president and CEO of the Maryland 5 Star
  • Marissa Melzer, event director, Maryland 5 Star
  • Chuck Phillips, co-founder and managing partner, INFOR; with Karen Phillips
  • Malcolmn Pryor, CEO of PMC Holdings, LLC; with Jacqueline Pryor
  • David Richardson, director of legislative affairs, Southwest Airlines; with Adam Richardson
  • Tarrus Richardson, founder and CEO, IMB Partners; with Kim Richardson
  • Terri Roberts, vice president, Onsite Retailers
  • Sandy Roberts, vice president, Onsite Retailers
  • Richard Shanahan, director of government relations, Hitachi USA; with Jim Shanahan
  • Tony Simpson, proprietor, SoBe Restaurant and Lounge; with Josette Simpson
  • Matt Tremblay, CEO of Blackbird Labs; with Mars Tremblay
  • Ken Ulman, president of Margrave Strategies and chair of the Maryland Democratic Party; with Jaki Ulman
  • Miguel Wilson, CEO of the Miguel Wilson Collection; with Chancey Wilson
  • Jennifer Yokley, chief marketing officer, Blink Charging Co.

Staff to the governor and lieutenant governor

  • 23 members of the governor and lieutenant governor’s staff, many with guests. Those attending included:
  • Mollie Byron, director of intergovernmental affairs, Office of the Governor
  • Alexis Covey-Brandt, senior advisor, Office of the Governor
  • Carter Elliott IV, press secretary, Office of the Governor
  • Brad Fallon, deputy legislative officer, Office of the Governor
  • Amanda LaForge, chief counsel, Office of the Governor
  • Allisa Mason, executive office director, Office of the Governor
  • Michael Thomas, policy director, Office of the Lieutenant Governor
  • David Turner, director of communications, Office of the Governor; with Elizabeth Weiss
  • Matt Verghese, director of federal relations, Office of the Governor; with Matthew Brewer

Family, friends and others

  • Aaron Dante, Baltimore podcaster, guest of the Maryland Sports Commission
  • Pandora Flythe, mother of the first lady
  • Joy Moore, mother of the governor
  • Seven other guests