Monday, May 7, 2012

Maryland Labor Secretary Alex Sanchez to Become Baltimore Mayor's Chief of Staff // Transportation Secretary Also Vacates

SEARCH FOR A NEW LABOR SECRETARY: Maryland Juice has just learned that Maryland's Secretary of Labor Alex Sanchez has resigned. We discovered the breaking news when a source contacted us to suggest a replacement for Mr. Sanchez. The Baltimore Sun reports that Sanchez, who leads the Department of Labor, Licensing Regulation (DLLR), will be taking over as Chief of Staff for Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake:

BALTIMORE SUN: Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez is leaving his state post to take over as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's chief of staff.

Sanchez will be her third chief of staff in so many years and will succeed Peter O'Malley, brother to Gov. Martin O'Malley. Peter O'Malley left for a position in the private sector after less than one year in the role....

O'Malley, in a statement, said Sanchez has been a "highly effective" member of the cabinet. Raquel Guillory, an O'Malley spokesman, said there is no word on a replacement.

Sanchez has headed the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation since 2009. The department has a $300 million budget and, among other responsibilities, releases monthly jobs numbers.

SEARCH FOR A NEW TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Alex Sanchez's predecessor at DLLR was former Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Perez. Notably, Mr. Perez is now a top civil rights enforcer in the Obama administration's Department of Justice. That is a long way of saying that we expect that the DLLR vacancy will draw the interest of a number of elected officials in the State. We'll report more on that soon, but in the meantime, it is also worth noting that Gov. O'Malley's Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley stepped down last week. Between Sanchez and Swaim-Staley, we have now witnessed the departure of two high-level cabinet officials in the last week. Take note that there are a few scenarios where the choice Secretary of Labor or Transportation alters the 2014 electoral landscape. The Washington Post last week reported on the vacancy in the Secretary of Transportation's office:
WASHINGTON POST: One of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s (D) most powerful cabinet secretaries is stepping down after nearly three years on the job.

Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley, the first woman to lead Maryland’s sprawling transportation agency, will leave her post at the end of June, according to O’Malley’s office.

Swaim-Staley has worked for the state for more than 25 years, including previous posts as deputy transportation secretary and overseeing operations at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport following Sept. 11, 2001.

Aides said Swaim-Staley surprised O’Malley with her decision late last week. They said the timing of her departure appeared motivated in part by a desire to give the governor time to find a replacement who could lead the agency for the second half of his final term.

Swaim-Staley’s tenure has revolved in large part around funding challenges created by the state’s near bankrupt transportation trust fund....

Aides said O’Malley would lead a nationwide search for a replacement.

Lots of changes in Maryland's policy & political world may be coming. Stay tuned!

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