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Posted at 6:41 PM ET, 03/ 5/2011

Peter O'Malley takes helm of Md. Dems

By John Wagner

Peter O'Malley, a younger brother of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), was unanimously elected Saturday as chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party at a meeting of its central committee.

The younger O'Malley has worked behind the scenes on his brother's political campaigns for the past two decades, including in senior roles in his 2006 and 2010 gubernatorial wins. Peter O'Malley also served as chief of staff to former Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith (D) and is widely known among party activists.

"I am so thankful for this tremendous and humbling opportunity to once again work with Democrats in all corners of Maryland," Peter O'Malley told central committee members Saturday, according to a news release. "Our party represents the best of our state and is committed to tackling the challenges we face to move us forward to a better future, while the other side is simply stuck in the past and beholden to the same old tired policies that don't work. In Maryland, we've set the standard on how to win, and together we will lead the charge to protect the progress we have made."

Maryland Republican Party Chairman Alex X. Mooney, a former state senator, said the governor's nomination of his brother as Democratic party chairman was part of a pattern of nepotism. Mooney also cited O'Malley's recent re-nomination of his wife, Catherine Curran O'Malley, as a district court judge in Baltimore.

"It's clear Governor O'Malley is more focused on putting members of his family to work rather than the over 200,000 unemployed Marylanders struggling to find a job," Mooney said in a statement. "In just the last month alone, Governor O'Malley has created more jobs for his family than he has for Maryland over the entirety of his time in office."

Peter O'Malley succeeds Susan Turnbull.

On Saturday, Democrats also selected Yvette Lewis as first vice chair; Oscar Ramirez as second vice chair; Robert Kresslein as treasurer; Beth Swoap as secretary; Victoria Jackson-Stanley as deputy treasurer; and Duane Baysmore as deputy secretary.

By John Wagner  | March 5, 2011; 6:41 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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About the only good thing Alex Mooney has done for MD is to keep the McDonald's corporation thriving. Keep eatin those Big Macs, Big Mac!

Posted by: hamsandwich | March 5, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

The Governor didn't give him the job. The Democratic Central Committee members did. Peter O'Mally is smart, articulate, and politically astute. I fully support him and think he will be a great Chair.

Posted by: vmi98mom | March 6, 2011 5:11 AM | Report abuse

So you really believe that PO's brother just happens to be the sitting gov., has nothing to do with this? Come on, I got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you LOL.

Posted by: VikingRider | March 6, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

If I was a Republican I'd be upset about Peter O'Malley becoming chairman of the Maryland Democrats too. He's very good at beating them.

But their nepotism charge doesn't stick because it's an unpaid position that doesn't give Peter O'Malley any power or prestige he doesn't have already. He has long been recognized as the chief architect of his brother's electoral success and one of his most trusted advisors.

The good news for Democrats and bad news for Republicans is that just like outgoing Maryland Dems chair Susan Turnbull, Peter O'Malley is a favorite among the volunteers and activists who fuel the party from one election cycle to another.

- Steve Lebowitz, Annapolis

Posted by: justdafactsSteveLebowitz | March 6, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

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