Hutchinson, who is president of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and a member of the Baltimore County Revenue Authority Board, will serve as a surrogate for O’Malley in the county, attending campaign events on behalf of the governor during the next five months.
“(Hutchinson) is still very well known throughout the county,” said Rick Abbruzzese, a spokesman for the O’Malley campaign. “He’ll be a very powerful voice for the governor in Baltimore County.”
Hutchinson joins a list of other Democratic elected officials and party activists as county chairmen and chairwoman, including Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt.
Ulman, Leggett and Pollitt will perform their duties for the O’Malley campaign as they mount their own re-election bids.
County Executive Jim Smith was not selected for the spot because he was still in the midst “of a very personal and deliberative process regarding the senate race,” Abbruzzzese said, adding that “the governor respected that.”
Abbruzzese said the governor was in the process of looking for a county chairman at the same time and the thought was that a Senate campaign and acting as county chairman “could have been a lot on his plate.”
“All indications were that (Smith) was going to get in that race,” Abbruzzese said. “Maybe he would have agreed to do both.”
Smith has since announced that he will not run for the Senate seat in the 7th District and will spend his time during the election year campaigning for O’Malley, and possibly for some candidates for the four open County Council seats.
Let me get this straight. O'Malley is hiring a zoo keeper to represent him in a state that; well I guess I can see where the glove fits here.
Posted 5:28 PM, 06.16.10
How is it legal for the president of a major MD nonprofit to campaign for someone? Does this threaten the zoo's tax exempt status?
Posted 6:34 PM, 06.16.10
Steve Schuster covers Baltimore County government and politics for Patuxent Publishing’s newspapers. He has a background in law and journalism, and has written online and for print in the Chicago area. He also worked in suburban Washington, D.C., for the Post-Newsweek Media group as a government and legal reporter. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @stevenschuster.