Former GOP Councilman to Head Economic Development for Democrat Pittman

    Although he once served on the Anne Arundel County Republican Central Committee, Jerry Walker often gave his fellow Republicans fits during his eight years on the County Council. More than a few times, he was the swing vote, siding with Democrats against initiatives of former county executive Steve Schuh (R).

    Last year, when Walker sought a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates, running against three Republican incumbents in the GOP primary, the political action committee of the House GOP caucus, which got substantial funding from Schuh, spent heavily on mailers attacking Walker. He lost.

    On Wednesday, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman (D) – who ousted Schuh in November – announced that Walker will be the new president & CEO of the Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corporation. He’ll replace current AAEDC President & CEO, Julie Mussog, who is leaving  to become a senior vice president at Municap, Inc., a public finance-consulting firm based in Columbia that specializes in the public finance aspects of redevelopment.

    “I came to respect Jerry Walker during his two terms as my county council representative,” Pittman said in a statement. “He is a brilliant student of government and a ferocious advocate for small business.”

    Walker has worked for DCA Imaging Systems, a family-owned small business for 22 years. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy from American University and is a graduate of the University of Maryland, School of Public Policy’s Academy for Excellence in Local Government.

    “I am committed to navigating the red tape in the government process, and I’m honored to have this opportunity to continue my civic duty as an advocate for the residents, communities, and businesses of Anne Arundel County,” Walker said.

    Even though he lost his House bid last year, Walker retained more than $111,000 in his campaign account as of mid-November, and has widely been seen as a possible future candidate for political office. Could his decision to work with Pittman hurt him in any future election, if he runs as a Republican?

    Asked Thursday for his opinion of Walker’s new job, House Minority Leader Nicholaus R. Kipke (R-Anne Arundel), who directed the PAC that paid for the attack mailers against Walker replied, “Happy for him.” And asked if going to work for a Democratic administration ended his viability as a Republican candidate, Kipke shrugged.

    “Who knows?” he said. “I’m sure he has a bright future.”

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.