July 15 // O’Malley among names floated for Homeland Security successor

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s name surfaced Friday on several lists of possible replacements for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who announced that she would step down to become president of the University of California system. O’Malley (D) has sought to carve out a niche on homeland security issues since his days as mayor of Baltimore, which has a deep-water port. (Wash. Post)

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New Md. transportation secretary evaluates how to use gas tax funds

James T. Smith Jr. had no interest in overseeing a state transportation network so tight on money that new roads and transit systems had little chance of being built. At 71, he had an impressive résumé. When people close to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) asked last summer if he’d be interested in heading the state Transportation Department, Smith said he told them “no.” “I just didn’t want, at this time in my life, to preside over a department treading water,” he said recently. So why is he now Maryland’s new transportation secretary? “The environment changed,” he said. With a new state sales tax on gasoline, there is suddenly money to be had. (Wash. Post)

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Gansler urges preference for Maryland manufacturers

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler brought his all-but-official campaign for governor to Western Maryland on Friday, pledging to help rebuild the state's manufacturing base by giving Maryland companies preference in securing government contracts. Gansler, speaking at a United Auto Workers union hall near Hagerstown's Mack Truck/Volvo plant, laid out a seven-point plan to increase the manufacturing sector, which he said now ranks 43rd in the nation. (Balt. Sun)

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Mayor's policy director leaves City Hall

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's policy director said Friday he is resigning from his post at City Hall to take a job in the private sector.  Ryan O'Doherty has served as Rawlings-Blake's chief spokesman for five years, since her time as City Council president. O'Doherty, 35, has accepted a job as the director of external affairs and strategic communications at Mercy Health Services. O'Doherty was a key adviser to Rawlings-Blake and helped craft the administration's agenda, including the goal of growing Baltimore by 10,000 families, an increase in the bottle tax to help fund school construction and cuts to the property tax. (Balt. Sun)

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'A political must-do event'

As sure as Fourth of July fireworks, the wooden mallets of Tawes are back this month. Combining the characteristics of large family picnic with the guest list of a serious political fundraiser, the namesake of former governor and Crisfield native J. Millard Tawes is a hallmark of summer in Somerset County. While many who purchase a $40 ticket are interested in the seafood and corn on the cob, the event serves an entirely different purpose for candidates. (Daily Times)

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Sen. Forehand eyes reelection in Montgomery, dismissing ‘apoplectic’ rival

Maryland Sen. Jennie M. Forehand (D-Montgomery), one of the General Assembly’s longest-serving members, survived a tough primary challenge in her last election. She could be in for another one next year. At least two other Democrats are considering the District 17 race: Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons (D-Mongtomery) and former delegate Cheryl Kagan, who narrowly lost to Forehand in 2010. Forehand said Simmons has been “going absolutely apoplectic about wanting to be in the Senate.” (Wash. Post)

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Kevin Davis named Anne Arundel County police chief

The embattled Anne Arundel County Police Department will get a new chief beginning on Monday. Kevin Davis, the assistant chief of Prince George’s County police has been named to the post. County Executive Laura Neuman said she is looking to Davis to return stability and professionalism to the Anne Arundel force, which has seen two chiefs resign amid scandal in the last year. (Wash. Post)

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Ehrlich To O'Malley: "Stop Whining" On Hotel

Former Governor Robert Ehrlich says he is not to blame for the financial problems of the city owned Hilton Hotel in Baltimore, and current Governor Martin O'Malley needs to "stop whining" about it. Ehrlich's comments to WBAL-TV came two days after O'Malley told reporters that the city hotel is losing money, because Ehrlich wouldn't provide state funds for its construction. (WBAL)

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