In a Maryland Matters article (2017-06-12), political commentator Josh Kurtz unveils the top five cabinet secretaries in the Governor Larry Hogan Administration. Kurtz arrived at the picks by polling two dozen State government watchers and commentators. Here are a quick summary of the picks:
#1 Secretary of the Environment Benjamin Grumbles
If anyone in the Hogan Cabinet helps the governor strike the balance that he needs between being pro-business and a good steward of Maryland’s land, air and water, it’s Grumbles. Environmentalists don’t always agree with him, but they admire him, and he’s careful to keep the lines of communication open.
#2 Secretary of Transportation Pete Rahn
There’s nobody more steeped in his agency’s policies – and the corresponding debates at the national level – than this guy….Transit advocates aren’t happy with Hogan administration priorities, but Rahn is accessible to critics and pretty good about explaining why the administration does what it does.
#3 Secretary of Budget and Management David Brinkley
Considering there’s a Republican governor and a legislature with Democratic super-majorities, the budget process since Hogan has taken office has been pretty harmonious – especially this year. Brinkley, a former member of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, deserves a good bit of the credit.
#4 Secretary of Labor, Licensing, & Regulation Kelly Shulz
What she lacks in pure policy chops she makes up for in her ability to sell Hogan’s priorities – and her relationships with former colleagues in the legislature, particularly on the House Economic Matters Committee.
# 5 Secretary of Veterans Affairs George Owings III
There is no greater advocate for veterans in the state of Maryland, period, than this Vietnam War veteran and former member of the House of Delegates who previously held the same Cabinet post under GOP Gov. Bob Ehrlich.
Kurtz also offered some insights on Secretary of Commerce Mike Gill, Acting Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene Dennis Schrader, and Secretary of General Services Ellington Churchill.