Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Sen. John McCain’s party affiliation. This version has been updated.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced Friday that he is moving Stephen Neuman, a senior adviser to his political action committee, into his administration.

Starting next week, Neuman will become O’Malley’s director of public affairs, replacing Rick Abbruzzese, a longtime aide who recently departed the governor’s office to join the Annapolis lobbying corps.

The assignment comes at a pivotal juncture for O’Malley, who has recently lost a handful of senior aides as he enters the final two years of his tenure as governor. O’Malley, who is term-limited and must step down in January 2015, is weighing a 2016 presidential bid.

Before joining O’Malley’s O’ Say Can You See PAC in September, Neuman had worked in the administration of then-North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue (D).

He also worked on President Obama’s 2008 campaign in North Carolina, where he upset Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz), becoming the first Democrat to carry the Tar Heel State since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Neuman, a lawyer, has also worked for Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). the late Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan (D), and for his widow, Sen. Jean Carnahan (D-Mo.).

“With years of experience on the federal, state and local levels of government, he will be a seasoned advisor and we are confident in his abilities to help move our administration forward,” O’Malley said of Neuman in a statement.