Perez Heavily Involved In Obama Transition
Thomas E. Perez, the O'Malley administration's secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, has been playing a significant role in Barack Obama's presidential transition efforts.
Perez is leading one of seven teams that for some months have been quietly overseeing transition efforts at a cluster of agencies, according to a source familiar with Perez's role, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the assignment has not been publicly announced.
The 13 agencies for which Perez has responsibility include the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs and the Federal Election Commission, according to the source.
Perez's role is likely to heighten speculation that he will be among several O'Malley administration figures to depart for the Obama administration in coming weeks.
Perez, a former Montgomery County Council member, was Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights during the Clinton Administration. He maintains close relationships with many from the Clinton administration, including John Podesta, a former chief of staff to Clinton and president of the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank. Podesta is a co-chair of Obma's transition team.
Perez was tapped by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) for a state Cabinet post in early 2007. O'Malley was an early supporter of the presidential bid of Hillary Clinton.
In his current position, Perez has helped O'Malley usher in the legalization of slot-machine gambling and launch programs to stem the tide of home foreclosures in Maryland.
At a news conference on foreclosures this afternoon, O'Malley called Perez "a man who has done a tremendous job for us."
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