Cryor officially out as state Democratic Party head
The official word is now out: As we reported this week, Michael Cryor is stepping down as head of the Maryland Democratic Party. His tenure ends the end of the month. He's a public relations executive and a cool and smooth behind-the-scenes operator. Gov. Martin O'Malley, who hand-picked him for the spot, calls him the "horse-whisperer" for his ability to deliver calming words at the right time.
Cryor is going out on a high note: Obama won Maryland big, and the congressional delegation has more Democrats than ever. Party finances appear strong.
Like past chairmen, Cryor has business relationships that may not mesh well with his public party role. In this case, he's getting involved with a slots client, as the Sun's Gadi Dechter reported this week.
Read below for a release from the Democratic Party on Cryor's exit.
Michael Cryor to Step Down as Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party
Tenure Marked by Record Breaking Success and Growth
A statement from Michael Cryor, Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party
“Several weeks ago I sent a letter to Gov. Martin O’Malley indicating my intention to step down as Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party following the historic inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden. Therefore, January 31, 2009 will be my last day.
I want to thank Gov. O’Malley, the people of Maryland and the Maryland Democratic Party for the honor and privilege of serving them in such a capacity. This entire experience has truly been one of the most rewarding and important moments of my life.
In the past 18 months we’ve made great strides as a party, as a state and as a nation. I am very proud of the work we’ve all done – from Gov. O’Malley to the grassroots – in securing the change our nation so desperately needs.
However, it has not been without sacrifices. I must still work for a living, and so I now turn my attention to my business, returning full time to the private sector.
Before I depart, I plan to bear witness to history on January 20, 2009. As I explained to the Governor in December: ‘As the only African-American Chair in the 50 states, it will be most memorable for me to witness the President-elect be sworn in as our next President.’
Within the eighteen months of my tenure, I have been fortunate to lead a team that has broken records in party growth and electoral success at virtually every level. In 2008 Maryland contributed the largest number of campaign volunteers in the nation per capita to an unprecedented victory. As a result, our state party organized and mounted the most powerful grassroots outreach campaign in the nation and helped the Obama/Biden ticket carry the entire Mid-Atlantic region.
We defied the experts and elected another Maryland Democrat to Congress. We registered over a quarter of a million new Democrats in 2008 at a rate of 5 to 1 over our closest competitor. We broke fundraising, staffing and organizational records after a very successful 2006 election cycle when skeptics wondered where growth was possible. And, we have earned the attention and respect of the President-elect and his new administration.
As I depart, I am proud to say the Maryland Democratic Party is stronger today. We are a party poised for more growth and to become a more vital instrument of change.
I have arrived at this decision with mixed emotions. I will miss the daily effort that I believe has been a benefit to my state and nation. I will remain an active Maryland Democrat and I look forward to helping my party as well as my friends and my colleagues with whom I’ve enjoyed working immensely.”