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December 8, 2010

O'Malley installs longtime aide in key DGA post

The new top staff job at the Democratic Governors Association goes to Colm O’Comartun, an aide who has been with Gov. Martin O'Malley since his days as the mayor of Baltimore.

The move had been rumored for days and was openly discussed by lobbyists hanging around the bar at the Saint Regis Hotel in Washington last last week when O'Malley became the organization's chair. O’Comartun refused to talk about the possibility at the time.

In a statement O'Malley called O'Comartun "one of the most skilled and loyal public servants." That loyalty should come in handy if O'Malley hopes to maintain a national profile beyond the one (or maybe two?) year term of his chairmanship.

The executive director job will put O'Comartun in a good position to build relationships with top Democratic donors outside the Maryland money circuit. And it could let him build a network of the pollsters, consultants and field directors key to any national campaign.

At the very least he'll rack up favors from needy governors who look to him to deploy resources when their campaigns look shaky. O'Comartun's predecessor held the position for four years -- and worked there for six.

In Maryland O'Comartun has been largely out of the public eye (he's only been mentioned in the Sun five times), but he's frequently by O'Malley's side. We've described his role as a "handler" and a "spokesman" and once by his proper title: "director." He's gotten some of the cush assignments, traveling with O'Malley to England and Ireland in 2005.

During the recent campaign O'Comartun popped up with O'Malley at events and toted around the governor's over-sized three-ring binder. The governor clearly favors him, turning to him when even minor questions arose including, at one event, a request for information about the federal unemployment program. His official job with the state: Director of the Governor's Office.

O'Comartun will replace Nathan Daschle, the son of the former Senate Majority Leader. In a statement, O'Malley praised Daschle's work, saying he'd "taken the organization to new heights"
Posted by Annie Linskey at 12:58 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: DGA
        

Comments

The Sun should check into Colm's use of a state credit card at local bars. Pretty outrageous use of taxpayer dollars.

So our Tax dollars are going to pay for him and he will be benifiting the other States. Our State could use the funds to help us not Martin's issues outside the State. also why is this guy allowed to buy booze with a State credit card.

Looks like good PR for our State. Hopefully this can lure good things Maryland's way. Positive Karma Baby! Good Luck Colm

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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