ANNAPOLIS – Three weeks before he is officially sworn in as Maryland’s 62nd governor, Governor-elect Larry Hogan is putting his cabinet in place.
On Dec. 30 Hogan announced his latest cabinet appointments as Al Redmer, insurance commissioner; John Wobensmith, secretary of state; George Owings III, veterans secretary; and Stephen Moyer, secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
Erin Montgomery, spokesperson for the governor-elect, said current cabinet picks include six Republicans, three Democrats and five members with unknown political affiliations. Hogan also picked cabinet members from former Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich’s cabinet-former secretary of veterans affairs George Owings III and Al Redmer Jr.,, former Maryland insurance commissioner, and current secretary of juvenile justice, Sam Abed.
“We have been working to assemble a talented, diverse, and bipartisan cabinet to help us in our mission to change Maryland for the better,” Hogan said.
On Dec. 23 Hogan announced six appointments to his cabinet: Van Mitchell, secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; General Linda Singh, General Adjutant of Maryland; Charlie Evans, secretary of the Department of Natural Resources; Joe Bartenfelder, secretary of the Department of Agriculture; Ben Grumbles, secretary of the Department of the Environment; and Jimmy Rhee, special Secretary of Minority Affairs.
Other cabinet appointments include Jim Fielder, secretary of appointments; incumbent Frederick County delegate Kelly Schulz (R-4), secretary of labor; Bob Caret, chancellor of the University System of Maryland; C. Gail Bassette, secretary of general services; and Sam Abed, current secretary of juvenile justice, will retain his post.
“We thought they were on the right path. We didn’t solve every problem in juvenile justice but I have confidence in (Abed’s) leadership,” Hogan said.
The state’s budget deficit is also growing with the latest estimates at $1.2 billion over the next 18 months. Hogan said he’s working with his budget team to find ways to fix the deficit.
“It’s a bad situation that’s getting worse. I’m just somewhat surprised at the magnitude of the problem,” Hogan said.
Hogan said he looks forward to the next year.
“The year 2014 turned out to be a pretty good year for us, and we are looking forward to 2015 and getting to work on behalf of the citizens of Maryland,” he said.
District 17 Senator-elect Cheryl Kagan said she looks forward to working with Hogan.
“Our state and our country are facing significant challenges. I am hopeful that the partisan divide we see on Capitol Hill will not make its way to Annapolis. Despite the reality of Maryland’s structural deficit, we must address our overcrowded schools and transportation infrastructure while focusing on economic growth and opportunities for all Marylanders,” Kagan said. “To accomplish this, we simply must work together. I congratulate Governor-elect Larry Hogan and welcome the chance to work with his administration, which will include a number of my friends and colleagues.”
Hogan, the state’s seventh Republican governor, will be sworn in on Jan. 21.