Fresh out of Md. Senate, Garagiola joins law firm with major Annapolis lobbying presence

Robert J. Garagiola, who stepped down this month as majority leader of the Maryland Senate, has joined Alexander & Cleaver, a law firm with a major lobbying presence in Annapolis.

Garagiola, a Montgomery County Democrat, will manage the firm’s new Montgomery County office, Alexander & Cleaver said in a news release Monday morning.

Garagiola said in an interview that he plans initially to focus on practicing law and might do some local government relations work, but hopes to focus on Montgomery County rather than Annapolis.

“There is a lot to be done in Rockville,” he said. “I’ll re-evaluate state-level lobbying in the future.”

Under Maryland law, former legislators are barred from assisting clients in Annapolis during the first 90-day legislative session after their departure.

(Robert J. Garagiola)

The firm’s news release quotes Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) as saying that Garagiola “remains my good friend.”

“I look forward to working with him in the future as he brings his tremendous talent and energy to Alexander & Cleaver and their clients,” Miller says in the release.

Last week, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) appointed Del. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery) to fill Garagiola’s District 15 Senate seat.

Alexander & Cleaver also announced Monday that Kerry Watson, a senior adviser to Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), is joining the firm.

Watson was a liaison to the county council. He is also a former police officer.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.

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