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.


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."


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.


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