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Hogan Promises Bipartisan Administration

Christopher Connelly

Republican Larry Hogan will be Maryland’s next governor. Now he has just a few short months to organize a smooth hand-off from outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley.

At an Annapolis news conference Wednesday morning, Hogan said he’s turned his focus from the campaign to governing. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. Our state economy is in real trouble. We’ve focused on that for years and now we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and get to work trying to turn our state around,” Hogan said.

Hogan declined to offer specifics of policy or appointments in his administration after just “an hour’s sleep,” but he called his victory “the biggest mandate for change” since Gov. Theodore McKeldin was elected in 1951.

Hogan joined a tiny list of Republican governors in Maryland – only the second to be elected in nearly five decades – but he promised to appoint a bipartisan cabinet and work with Democratic Senate and House leadership. Hogan said he’d already been in touch with Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch, as well as Gov. O’Malley.

Jim Brady, who led transition teams for two former governors, will lead the transition team alongside Hogan’s running mate Boyd Rutherford.

Brady said decisions made now, during the transition, will effect Hogan’s next four years. “The tone will be set in the next two and a half months. That’s what people will remember. And if the tone is negative it’s almost impossible to turn that around,” Brady said.

The bipartisan cabinet Hogan promised may not just be a matter of principle, but also borne of practicality.

“One of the interesting things that Ehrlich faced 12 years ago is a very thin to appoint for these cabinet positions. Who are you going to pull in?” Sen. Richard Madaleno, D-Montgomery County, said. “So it’s going to be interesting to see who Hogan pulls in and if they can work with the General Assembly.”

Riding in the balance are thousands of state workers who hold jobs appointed by the governor, who no doubt will be watching closely to see just how inclusive the new governor’s administration really is.

Christopher Connelly is a political reporter for WYPR, covering the day-to-day movement and machinations in Annapolis. He comes to WYPR from NPR, where he was a Joan B. Kroc Fellow, produced for weekend All Things Considered and worked as a rundown editor for All Things Considered. Chris has a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. He’s reported for KALW (San Francisco), KUSP (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and KJZZ (Phoenix), and worked at StoryCorps in Brooklyn, N.Y. He’s filed stories on a range of topics, from a shortage of dog blood in canine blood banks to heroin addicts in Tanzania. He got his start in public radio at WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, when he was a student at Antioch College.