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McDonnell announces first round of appointments

Anita Kumar

As expected, Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell announced today that deputy attorney general Martin Kent will be his chief of staff and that Secretary of Finance Ric Brown will continue to serve in his current job for an undertermined period of time while the state continues to wrestle with a multi-billion dollar shortfall.

Other appointments McDonnell announced today: Marla Decker, assistant attorney general, will serve as secretary of public safety, lobbyist Eric Finkbeiner will be senior advisor for policy (which will be made into a Cabinet-level position) and longtime spokesman Tucker Martin will be director of communications. Kent and Decker were senior members of McDonnell's attorney general's office staff.

McDonnell's picks were widely met with praise. Observers said his appointments were smart, but not particularly flashy or surprising.

He announced this first round of appointments at a wide-ranging news conference, where he praised Gov. Tim Kaine for his cooperation and spoke of his opposition to a possible Kaine proposal to end some tax breaks. McDonnell said he considers the elimination of tax breaks the same as a tax increase.

Read the full press release with bios for each of the five here.

Kaine immediately praised McDonnell's decision to keep Brown on as finance secretary during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

"Bob McDonnell has made a wise choice that preserves nearly four decades of experience working in state finances,'' Kaine said in a statement. "Ric has skillfully served Virginia and its residents through the worst economic crisis since the 1930s -- and his appointment ensures both continuity and consistency in the management of the state's budget at a particularly critical time."

Attorney General Bill Mims, a close friend of McDonnell, also praised the appointments of Kent and Decker.

"Martin Kent and Marla Decker have served the Office of the Attorney General and the citizens of the Commonwealth with distinction during their tenure and I am confident that they will continue their commitment to public service in the McDonnell administration," he said.

By Anita Kumar  |  December 3, 2009; 1:54 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Next: McDonnell's ties to party crashers


Striking a blow for smaller government? Already created a cabinet position. What's that cost?

Posted by: jckdoors | December 3, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

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