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Political Notes: Moore threatens ‘step in’ on Senate race; Doyle lands a new job; Raskin backs press protections; Day names senior staff

Gov. Wes Moore (D). Photo By Bryan P. Sears.

Gov. Wes Moore (D) isn’t saying who he’ll endorse in the race for U.S. Senate. He is being clear about the type of campaign he wants to see.

The decision by Sen. Ben Cardin (D) not to seek re-election has several Democrats either declaring they are running or considering a run. Moore said he doesn’t think the field of candidates is settled yet.

Moore said several candidates for the position have spoken to him about the race to succeed Cardin. He described many of the declared and potential candidates as “legitimate friends.”

So far, he isn’t publicly backing any candidate.

“I think that the people who have opted to go into this race thus far, are really good, really qualified,” Moore said. “I think some of the people who have come to me and said they’re still contemplating it, they are really good and really qualified.”

Moore’s comments were in response to questions that followed a luncheon address to the National Press Club. The governor’s speech focused on what he called the “myths” of violent crime coverage. As part of those remarks, he made veiled swipes at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and implored journalists to re-think how issues of urban crime are reported.

The governor did not rule out the possibility of making some kind of endorsement. He added that he may also feel the need to make his voice heard if he’s unhappy with the jockeying to succeed Cardin.

“The thing that I’ve said to each and every one of them is that I’m going to be staying close and paying very close attention,” said Moore. “I want this to be a race that is going to be substance-based. I want this race to be issue-oriented. And I want this to be a race that’s positive. And if I see any inclinations that it’s not going in that direction, I will step in and quickly.”

New job for former port executive director

Former Maryland Port Administration Executive Director William Doyle wasn’t out of a job long.

Former Maryland Port Administration Executive Director William P. Doyle. Photo: Maryland Port Administration.

Doyle was hired Monday as the new chief executive officer and executive director of the Dredging Contractors of America, a Washington D.C.-based trade association.

The organization announced Doyle’s hiring was unanimously approved by its board of directors. He starts immediately.

Doyle’s return to his former employer — and his old job — comes days after he abruptly resigned from his position leading the Maryland Port Administration, where he was paid nearly $366,000.

Doyle was involved in a June 13 multi-car accident on the Jones Falls Expressway. Police cited Doyle for failing to control the speed of his vehicle to avoid a collision, tailgating and leaving the scene of an accident. Maryland State Police said Doyle was driving a state-owned vehicle at the time of the incident.

A spokesperson for the port administration declined to provide details on Doyle’s abrupt departure. Doyle has not been available for comment.

Yesterday, Christina Nichols also abruptly resigned from her position at the agency. Nichols served as chief of staff to Doyle. The reason for her departure is also unclear.

Raskin pushes press protections

A Maryland lawmaker is leading the charge on legislation that would expand protections for journalists.

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8th) is part of a bipartisan effort to protect reporters from government surveillance.

“Our Constitution provides that no law shall abridge the freedom of the press and inspires us to protect journalists against government overreach and abuse of the subpoena power,” Raskin said in a statement.

Raskin, with California Republican Rep. Kevin Kiley, is part of a bipartisan, bicameral reintroduction of legislation first proposed in 2022.

The Protect Reporters from Exploitive State Spying — PRESS Act — is a response to law enforcement agencies secretly seeking subpoenas for emails and phone records of reporters. The records sought were used in an attempt to uncover confidential sources.

Those efforts were made under Democrat and Republican presidents.

The initial version of the bill was introduced in response to revelations that the U.S. Department of Justice seized records from reporters at CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times.

Staffing moves at state housing agency

Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Jake Day announced Thursday the addition of four senior aides.

Topping the list is Rosa Cruz, who will become Day’s chief of staff. She previously served as vice president of communications for the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation. Cruz also served as assistant press secretary to Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. as well as a five-year stint as the deputy director of public information for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Other hires include:

  • Chuck Cook, chief legislative officer. Cook previously served as vice president of policy and labor outreach for the Business Network for Offshore Wind. Before that, he was the legislative and political director of the Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO.
  • Allison Foster, director of communications. Foster was a media specialist and acting communications director for the city of Salisbury where Day once served as mayor.
  • Theo Williams, special assistant to the secretary. Previously he spent three years in the Maryland Department of Health’s contact tracing unit.


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Political Notes: Moore threatens ‘step in’ on Senate race; Doyle lands a new job; Raskin backs press protections; Day names senior staff