Another vacancy in the Maryland General Assembly: Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) announced Monday that he has appointed Del. Andrew P. Cassilly (R-Harford) as his new senior adviser.
Cassilly will succeed Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. — another former state lawmaker — who was recently appointed to the role of chief legislative officer.
Cassilly, 54, is serving his second term in the House, representing a district that includes both Harford and Cecil counties. His brother, Robert Cassilly, is a Republican member of the state Senate, and another brother, Joseph Cassilly, is a former Harford County state’s attorney.
Andrew Cassilly is a longtime teacher and administrator in the Harford County Public Schools, and also served in the U.S. Army Reserves.
“Andrew Cassilly has an exceptional record of service to the State of Maryland, from his tenure in the Maryland National Guard to his years of leadership in Maryland public schools and the House of Delegates,” Hogan said in a statement. “His strong judgement and wealth of expertise on education, environmental, and transportation issues will be invaluable to our team, especially during the upcoming legislative session.”
Mitchell had been serving as part of Hogan’s legislative affairs shop and took over after the chief legislative affairs officer, Christopher B. Shank, resigned to take a job with a data analytics and software company.
“It is of course a difficult decision to leave the General Assembly, but I could not pass up the opportunity to help advance the governor’s bold agenda for Maryland,” Cassilly said, adding that he was looking forward to working the legislative session from a different perspective.
Cassilly’s new job creates another vacancy in the legislature. On Sunday, state Sen. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (D-Baltimore County) resigned, citing her failing health. Earlier this fall, there were two additional vacancies in the Baltimore County delegation, when incumbent delegates took job with the county government and were replaced by now-Dels. Catherine Forbes (D) and Carl Jackson (D).
Late last month, Hogan appointed attorney Nicole Williams (D) to replace former Del. Tawanna P. Gaines (D) in Prince George’s County’s District 22. Gaines had resigned after pleading guilty to a federal charge that she had pocketed campaign funds for personal use.
Former House speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) died one day before the end of this year’s General Assembly session, and his seat was filled by now-Del. Shaneka Henson (D).
If Nathan-Pulliam is replaced by a state delegate, that would create another vacancy and require another gubernatorial appointment. Appointees make up about one-fifth of the General Assembly — and it’s possible that other departures could be announced before the start of the 2020 General Assembly session on Jan. 8.