Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) announced eight more senior members of his administration Tuesday, including a new transportation secretary whom he introduced as “the best highway builder in the entire country.”
Hogan’s nomination of Pete Rahn, who has held top transportation jobs in New Mexico and Missouri, comes amid great uncertainty over the future of the light-rail Purple Line in the Washington suburbs and other proposed mass-transit projects. The governor-elect has strongly signaled that he will emphasize roads over rail after he takes office Jan. 21.
Hogan, who made tax cuts a rallying cry of his campaign, also pledged to focus this spring on reducing tolls at Maryland’s bridges and tunnels. Tolls are set by an executive-branch authority whose members are appointed by the governor.
At a news conference, Hogan continued to make good on his promise to include Democrats in his administration, naming outgoing Del. Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. (D-Baltimore) as a senior adviser whose portfolio will include expansion of Maryland’s charter schools. Hogan has been in talks with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Calvert) about legislation to loosen criteria for launching new charters.
Mitchell lost his bid for reelection in June’s primary. He previously served on the Baltimore City Council and ran unsuccessfully for Baltimore mayor. His family has been prominent in the civil rights movement.
Others appointed by Hogan on Tuesday include:
●Sen. Christopher B. Shank (R-Washington) as director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Shank, the current minority whip, said he will resign from the Senate on the day Hogan is sworn into office.
●Outgoing Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio (R-Talbot) as director of intergovernmental services. Haddaway-Riccio ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor last year on a GOP primary ticket that included former Harford County executive David R. Craig (R). Last week, Hogan named Craig as his planning secretary.
●Thomas E. Hutchins, a former superintendent of state police under former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), as director of homeland security.
●Steven J. McAdams, a realestate appraiser who has worked with Hogan’s real-estate company, as director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.
●Arlene F. Lee, a former executive director of the Governor’s Office for Children under Ehrlich, for the same position under Hogan.
●Robert F. Scholz, a lawyer with Baltimore-based Niles, Barton & Wilmer, as counsel to the governor.
With Tuesday’s announcement, the top tier of Hogan’s team is nearly complete. He said he plans to make several remaining appointments soon, including for budget secretary and superintendent of state police.
Appointments to Hogan’s Cabinet, including his transportation secretary, require Senate confirmation. Several other positions filled Tuesday do not require legislative action.