Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Lt. Gov.-elect Michael S. Steele yesterday announced several key appointments to their State House staffs, drawing heavily on Capitol Hill veterans and Republican activists to fill the posts.
"The people appointed . . . are the people that will in effect run the day-to-day operations of the governor's office," Ehrlich spokesman Paul Schurick said. "These are talented, experienced people who know their way around Annapolis. They know their way around government, and they know how to make things happen."
Ehrlich already has tapped Steven L. Kreseski, chief of staff from his congressional office, to run his gubernatorial team. Backing up Kreseski will be Mary Beth Carozza, currently the deputy assistant defense secretary for House affairs.
Carozza, an Eastern Shore native, has spent years on Capitol Hill, running an office for Rep. David L. Hobson (R-Ohio) and serving in press relations for other lawmakers. More recently, she has worked on homeland security.
Another deputy will be Edward McDonald, a former broadcast journalist who until recently was chief of staff and press secretary for Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.). He has worked on judicial and transportation issues.
Their backgrounds will be "an important part of their portfolios here," according to Henry P. Fawell, an official on the transition team.
In addition, businessman Larry Hogan will be the administration's appointments secretary, charged with keeping the appointment process moving smoothly. Hogan is a former Republican congressional candidate and former director of the Suburban Maryland Building Industry Association. He runs a real estate company in Annapolis.
Steele's staff will be headed by David Byrd, a longtime Republican activist with experience in the kind of small business and economic development initiatives that Steele has pledged to develop. Byrd worked for the Social Security Administration for the past year and previously for the State of New Jersey. He and his wife live in Upper Marlboro.
Deputy chief of staff will be Paul Ellington, who served as executive director for the Maryland GOP for the past four years. Steele worked alongside Ellington as chairman of the party, a volunteer position. Ellington also served two terms on the Bowie City Council.
Today, Ehrlich is expected to announce his choice for secretary of state. Appointments of numerous agency heads will come next week.