Whispers that Gov.-elect Larry Hogan's appointment of Sen. Joe Getty, R-District 5, to his transition team could lead to a spot on his cabinet have proved true.
Hogan, a Republican, officially announced Wednesday that Getty would be his chief legislative officer. He also announced Craig A. Williams to be his chief of staff. Williams served as one of three deputy chiefs of staff under Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., and currently works in a government relations job with the biotech giant Amgen.
Hogan also named Robert R. Neall, a former legislator and Anne Arundel County executive, as a special adviser on fiscal policy, an informal and unpaid job. Neall, who has been a member of both major political parties, said he has changed his party affiliation back to Republican.
Getty's responsibilities will include developing the governor's legislative package each year, he said.
"The budget bill is a large part of it. The departments want certain legislation to improve their efficiency, and typically the governor has major legislative initiatives he wants," Getty said. "The other aspect of the officer's role is to be the point person for the governor's relationship with the Senate president and the House speaker and other members of the General Assembly."
Getty was named to Hogan's transition team Nov. 17 as the head of the policy and legislative team based on his prior experience as policy and legislative director under Ehrlich.
Getty, of Manchester, was elected to his first term as state senator in 2010 and was re-elected on Nov. 4 but will have to vacate his seat when he takes his spot on the cabinet. His vacancy will be filled by gubernatorial appointment based on Carroll County's Republican Central Committee recommendations.
"It's a very difficult job," Getty said. "[The committee is] going to get lots of advice, but I have full faith in the RCC to go through the full process and come up with a nominee."
Larry Helminiak, RCC vice chairman, said the committee is asked to provide three recommendations for the governor to choose from. He said he expects to see many applications for the position, including the county's delegates in the state's House of Representatives. Susan Krebs, Justin Ready and Haven Shoemaker were elected to three seats in the House representing District 5 in November.
Helminiak said a delegate would be a clear choice to replace Getty because of their experience but wouldn't be surprised if someone outside of the political realm was appointed.
"There are a lot of people who got their start in politics by being appointed to an open seat," he said. "It's a lot easier [to apply for an open seat] than spending thousands of dollars campaigning."
Once those interested submit resumes, the committee will hold a public meeting to introduce the applicants, which will be followed by a closed session during which members will interview applicants. The meeting will then be opened back up to the public for comment before the nine committee members conduct a secret ballot to select their recommendations to the governor, Helminiak explained.
If a delegate is recommended by the committee and appointed by the governor, the committee would also be responsible for recommending a replacement in the House, Helminiak said.
Baltimore Sun reporter Erin Cox contributed to this article.
Reach staff writer Wiley Hayes at 410-857-3315 or email@example.com.