Republican delegate to direct state GOP
Maryland Republican Party Chairman Alex Mooney announced today that he has tapped freshman Del. Justin Ready to serve as the organization's interim executive director.
This will be Ready's second go at the job: The 29-year-old served in the position from April 2008 to July 2009, when he was fired by embattled GOP Chairman Jim Pelura (who resigned after receiving a no-confidence vote by the state board).
"Justin's experience as a former MDGOP Executive Director makes him the right choice to serve as the interim executive director through the end of 2011," Mooney said in a statement. Maryland Republcians are searching for a permanent executive director, Mooney said.
The main role of the executive director is to raise money -- which could be a problem for Ready, who represents Carroll County and is a member of the House Health and Government Operations Committee.
Ethics rules prohibit state lawmakers from raising money during legislative sessions. In addition to the regular 90-day session in January, a special session for congressional redistricting is planned for October. There's no word yet on how long that session will last.
Apart from the fundraising restriction, there's no ethical issue with a lawmaker working for a political party, said William Somerville of the Department of Legislative Services. Somerville said Ready checked with DLS before accepting Mooney's appointment.
Ready said he would "be very mindful" of the fundraising restrictions and would avoid any involvement with that aspect of the executive director position while the legislature is in session.
Mooney, who called Ready the "perfect person" for the interim job, said he does not anticipate special session will last long enough to have much of an impact on Ready's fundraising ability. He said having an interim director buys the party time to look far and wide for a new leader.
Ready replaces Kim Jorns, who is returning to her native Michigan to serve as executive director of its Republican Party.
Ready also was a legislative aide to former Del. J.B. Jennings (now a state senator) and a chief of staff to former Sen. Janet Greenip, according to his legislative biography.
He said the interim executive director position is "a natural fit."
"I've got a good range of experience, and I have already worked with a lot of the folks in the party," he said. "My goal will be to continue to make progress for the party, and to keep the train running on time."
Maryland's GOP also recently lost its communications director, Ryan Mahoney, who took a position with the Republican National Committee.