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Maryland Gov.-elect Wes Moore announces transition team, meets with Gov. Larry Hogan

The transition between Gov. Larry Hogan’s and Gov.-elect Wes Moore’s administrations officially got underway Thursday as Moore announced who will be leading his transition process and both the outgoing and incoming governors met at the State House in Annapolis.

The newly elected Democrat from Baltimore announced that his running mate, the incoming Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller, would chair his “transition and transformation team” while Cleo Hirsch, who led Baltimore City Public Schools through its COVID-19 response, will lead as its executive director.

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Also serving as co-chairs are Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore President Shelonda Stokes, Moore’s campaign treasurer, Mary Tydings, and former Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.

Moore and Miller vowed to move quickly on their ambitious agenda and returned multiple times to the ideas of transparency, inclusivity and creating an administration “that looks like the state of Maryland.”

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“What you will see over the process of these next months is the first salvo, the first push, the first commitment, to making the ideals that we laid out for the administration, that we’re making them real starting today,” Moore said during a news conference at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy building.

Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, and Gov.-elect Wes Moore, a Democrat, talk to reporters Thursday at the State House in Annapolis. Earlier the two met in private to discuss the upcoming change in administrations.

Earlier in the day, he and Hogan met privately and then stood alongside each other in a news conference at the State House. Hogan assured there would be not only a “peaceful transition of power” but that his administration would do anything possible to ensure that Moore’s team is “up to speed with whatever information they want.”

“I am very impressed with Gov.-elect Moore,” Hogan said. “I know his heart is in the right place. I think he ran for governor for the right reason. … I’m certainly hoping, like the rest of the people in the state, that he has a very successful term as governor.”

The pair smiled and joked but also emphasized the importance of the occasion during a particularly divisive moment in American politics. Hogan pointed down the hall to the chamber where George Washington resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army in 1783, which he called “the very first peaceful transition of power.”

“This is the way it always used to be, but it’s not happening,” the outgoing governor said.

Hogan has been at odds with certain factions of the Republican Party after it embraced former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Moore’s opponent, Dan Cox, a 2020 election denier, in his bid for governor. Cox conceded to Moore on Wednesday afternoon.

Hogan said he would not support or vote for Cox after he became the Republican nominee. The governor declined to say Thursday who he voted for in the general election, and said the state and national Republican Party has “some soul-searching to do.”

“We saw a very clear repudiation of crazy politics,” Hogan said. “It was not the ‘red wave’ that everybody predicted because, frankly, we nominated some people that didn’t appeal to the voters and that’s certainly a lesson that our party has to learn.”

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The transition begins

Hogan said Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, who is charged with handling the transition from the current administration, has been meeting with cabinet secretaries and has prepared “very thorough and detailed briefing books on every single agency” for the incoming administration.

Moore said the early meetings are helping to build a “foundation” for how his team will be evaluating state agencies and making decisions after his inauguration in mid-January.

While Moore did not lay out any specific policy goals Thursday, he referred to some platform points from his campaign, including focusing on education and establishing an option for a year of service for every high school graduate in the state.

Specific policy areas will come to light in the coming weeks. Hirsh said there will be nine public policy committees that will be announced and will be charged with talking to stakeholders about how the administration should approach certain issues.

Miller said the committees will request public input both online and in-person through town hall-style discussions. She also said the leaders of the committees will be a mix of people from public, private and nonprofit sectors and come from different geographic areas of Maryland.

“Make no mistake, we will govern inclusively, proactively and with great transparency,” Miller said.


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