ANNAPOLIS – Gov-elect Bob Ehrlich announced Friday the leaders of the team charged with making his transfer into the State House a smooth one.
Ehrlich, a Republican, presented his bipartisan Executive Counsel to the Transition Team, which will lead 50 to 70 individuals over the next two months.
No Cabinet leaders will be named yet, Ehrlich said, and any rumored appointments are just speculation.
“People have been on the outs and they want to get in,” Ehrlich said.
The governor-elect had been vacationing with his family in Ocean City, but cut it short for a congressional vote on homeland security and for the announcement of the council members.
Ehrlich also discussed the looming $1.7 billion budget deficit, announcing that he would meet with Gov. Parris N. Glendening next week in Austin, Texas, at the National Governor’s Convention to discuss the future of Maryland’s economic status.
“What we expected would be reality is reality,” Ehrlich said.
“I hope (Ehrlich) won’t be trapped and kidded by (Glendening),” said Comptroller William D. Schaefer, a Democrat who attended the news conference and who has a contentious relationship with fellow Democrat Glendening. “The governor has abdicated responsibility for the budget deficit.”
Ehrlich has a tough task ahead of him concerning the budget, Schaefer said, and the deficit will continue to grow.
“It’s not just about numbers, it’s direction, it’s priorities,” Ehrlich said.
The Glendening administration has been cooperative with the Ehrlich team, the governor-elect said.
Ehrlich understands the challenges in working with the Democratic-majority General Assembly to correct the budget problem.
“I’m respectful of the prerogative of the legislative branch,” Ehrlich said. “Hopefully we will work in a cooperative way and not an antagonistic way.”
Many people have already inquired about getting involved with the future governor’s administration, said Lt. Gov.-elect Michael Steele, and the council is evidence of that trend.
Ehrlich selected the council members set to lead the transition team from a variety of backgrounds:
– Jennie Hunter Cevera, Ph.D – president, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.
– Jervis Finney – partner, Ober, Kaler, Grimes and Shriver law firm.
– Mickey Steinberg, former state Senate president and lieutenant governor under then-Gov. Schaefer.
– Marty Madden – former state senator and business owner.
– Gary Murray – adviser to Prince George’s County Executive Wayne Curry.
– Susan Schwab, dean of the School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland.
Both Steinberg and Murray are registered Democrats.
Jim Brady, former secretary of business and economic development under Glendening, will lead the team under the supervision of Lt. Gov-elect Michael Steele, the Ehrlich campaign said.
“I have a bias for getting stuff done,” Brady said. “I’m not for marching in place.”
“People are excited about working for this administration across party lines,” Steele said. “That’s a testament to the leadership of our governor- elect.” – 30 – – CNS-11-15-02