Hogan Withdraws Nomination of Schrader for Health Secretary

Governor Hogan has withdrawn his nomination of Dennis Schrader for Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Hogan plans to allow Schrader to continue to serve as Secretary and to nominate him again next year.

The Baltimore Sun reports on the withdrawal as well as conflicting accounts from the Hogan administration and Senate leadership as to whether a vote to confirm Schrader would have occurred:

The governor had criticized the Senate for not swiftly approving Dennis R. Schrader to lead the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and on Friday decided to remove Schrader from consideration.

But he will be nominated to the post again next year, Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer said Monday, and will continue serving in the job until then.

Mayer said the administration withdrew Schrader’s nomination because “we were told that he was not going to be voted on. He’s too important and is too qualified to be left hanging in the wind, and to whatever political whim is in the air.”

Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller denied that lawmakers weren’t going to hold a vote.

“They can play whatever games they want to but he was going to get voted on,” Miller said.

Miller told reporters that were Hogan to put Schrader’s name forward again before the end of the session he thinks the Senate would vote to confirm him.

“All he has to do is withdraw his withdrawal,” Miller said. “Bring him back and we’ll confirm him.”

But if Hogan instead allows Schrader to remain in office without resubmitting his name, Miller said it was doubtful he would be confirmed by the Senate next year.

Sen. Bill Ferguson, chairman of the Executive Nominations Committee, said his panel had planned to hold votes on Hogan’s nominees this week. The Baltimore Democrat said he received no explanation for the withdrawal.

For more information:

Hogan withdraws health secretary nominee, but plans to keep him in the job (The Baltimore Sun)