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Politics

Rawlings-Blake hires new communications director with DNC ties

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has tapped connections at the Democratic National Committee to hire a new communications and policy director.

Kevin Harris, 29, of Alexandria, Va., will begin work in Baltimore on Sept. 3.

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He currently works as communications director for U.S. Rep. Karen Bass of California.

"I want to see Baltimore do well, and I want to see the mayor do well," Harris said on Monday. "Baltimore is one of my favorite cities in the country."

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Former DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse, Harris' former boss, called him "the best."

"He's as a hard a worker as I've ever been around so the taxpayers and the Mayor will get a good bargain," Woodhouse said.

A native of Birmingham, Ala., Harris earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Howard University and a master's degree in government from Johns Hopkins.

Harris, who will be paid a salary of $110,000 annually, said he plans to move to Baltimore.

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Harris worked for the first presidential campaign of Barack Obama, primarily in Iowa, and has held several jobs in politics, including as a regional press secretary as the Democratic National Committee.

Earlier this year, Rawlings-Blake became secretary of that organization. She said Harris came highly recommended.

"I am very proud to have a diverse team of people with great experience and ability," she said. "Many of them are from Baltimore. The truth of the matter is Baltimore's nationally recognized as a city on the move. People want in. I am proud to have someone who could easily work anywhere in the country choose Baltimore and my administration."

Harris will replace Ryan O'Doherty, who had served as Rawlings-Blake's chief spokesman for five years, since her time as City Council president.

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In the interim, Travis Tazelaar, Rawlings-Blake's campaign director, has handled press inquires.

Luke.Broadwater@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/lukebroadwater  


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