David R. Craig, who finished second in the 2014 Republican primary for governor, is leaving the Cabinet of former rival Gov. Larry Hogan.
Craig, a former Harford County executive, will step down as the state's secretary of planning next month to head the Maryland World War I Centennial Commission, Hogan announced Friday.
The veteran Republican officeholder will be succeeded by Wendi Peters, who now serves as his deputy.
Craig, 67, became the only one of Hogan's three rivals for the nomination to take a position in the new administration when Hogan became governor in January 2015.
"I would like to thank David for his service at the Department of Planning and wish him well in his new leadership role of this historic commission," Hogan said in a statement.
Craig's salary as planning secretary is $135,048. In his new role his pay will be $110,729.
When asked whether the move was a demotion, Hogan spokesman Matthew A. Clark said only that "we just think he's the right guy for this job."
Craig could not be reached for comment. In a statement released with the announcement, he said: "I was both honored and humbled to serve as the secretary of planning. I look forward to continuing to serve the Hogan administration by helping the governor recognize Maryland's significant role in World War I."
Clark said Craig will be responsible for coming up with a plan by next summer for a statewide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. The commission was established in November 2015 and will consist of up to 11 members.
The announcement said Craig spent 30 years as an educator, including 15 as a history teacher. "An avid historian and published author, Craig developed a love of World War I at an early age," the Governor's Office said.
Craig, a Havre de Grace resident, served as Harford's chief executive from July 2005 to December 2014. He previously served as mayor of Havre de Grace, a state senator and a member of the House of Delegates.
Prior to her position as deputy secretary, Peters was a two-term member of the Mount Airy Town Council. A political ally of Budget Secretary David R. Brinkley, she ran unsuccessfully for the House of Delegates in 2014.
Baltimore Sun Media Group editor Allan Vought contributed to this article.