McAuliffe makes first top-level ap­point­ments

Fi­nance sec­re­tary will be a holdover

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro - BY DAVID SHERFINSKI

Vir­ginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe, look­ing to fol­low through on a pledge to make his ad­min­is­tra­tion bi­par­ti­san, has se­lected a fi­nance sec­re­tary who has served in state gov­ern­ment un­der 11 gover­nors and three long­time Demo­cratic staffers for top-level po­si­tions.

Mr. McAuliffe an­nounced Mon­day he in­tends to re­tain Ric Brown, the state’s cur­rent sec­re­tary of fi­nance, for at least the first few months of his ad­min­is­tra­tion, when the state leg­is­la­ture will be mark­ing up out­go­ing Gov. Bob McDon­nell’s pro­posed two-year bud­get.

Mr. Brown orig­i­nally was ap­pointed by Gov. Tim Kaine, a Demo­crat now serv­ing in the U.S. Se­nate, and kept on by Mr. McDon­nell af­ter the Repub­li­can gov­er­nor’s 2009 elec­tion to help shep­herd the state through the fis­cal woes as­so­ci­ated with the na­tional eco­nomic down­turn.

“I told the gov­er­nor-elect I thought I could do it as well as the guy who cur­rently has the job,” Mr. Brown said.

The ap­point­ment is sup­posed to be tem­po­rary. Mr. McAuliffe’s tran­si­tion team said Mr. Brown will stay on through at least the pas­sage of the up­com­ing bud­get. His ap­point­ment by Mr. McDon­nell was seen as tem­po­rary as well — a way to main­tain some con­ti­nu­ity dur­ing a time of sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial un­cer­tainty — but Mr. Brown ended up serv­ing in the Repub­li­can’s Cab­i­net for his en­tire four-year term.

The ap­point­ment is part of a foun­da­tion of an ad­min­is­tra­tion that Mr. McAuliffe, a long­time Demo­cratic fundraiser and for­mer chair­man of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee, said he is build­ing “to find com­mon ground with lead­ers from both par­ties to cre­ate jobs, nav­i­gate the un­cer­tainty that we face over the com­ing years, and max­i­mize the op­por­tu­ni­ties we have to di­ver­sify and strengthen Vir­ginia’s econ­omy.”

Mr. Brown has worked for the state for more than four decades and di­rected Vir­ginia’s Depart­ment of Plan­ning and Bud­get un­der Govs. James S. Gil­more III, a Repub­li­can, and Mark R. Warner, a Demo­crat, be­fore Mr. Kaine ap­pointed him sec­re­tary of fi­nance in Au­gust 2008. Mr. Warner is now Vir­ginia’s se­nior U.S. se­na­tor.

Mr. McDon­nell will un­veil his blue­print for a new two-year bud­get next month. The leg­is­la­ture will then re­ceive, amend and send the bud­get to Mr. McAuliffe, a Demo­crat, dur­ing next year’s Gen­eral As­sem­bly ses­sion.

Mr. McAuliffe also an­nounced Mon­day that his chief of staff will be Paul Rea­gan, who is di­rect­ing his cur­rent tran­si­tion team. Mr. Rea­gan has held top-level po­si­tions in the of­fices of for­mer Demo­cratic Sen. Jim Webb and Mr.

Warner.

Mr. McAuliffe also tapped Suzette Denslow, cur­rently the chief of staff for Rich­mond Mayor Dwight C. Jones, to be his deputy chief of staff. She also has served in top-level po­si­tions in the ad­min­is­tra­tions of Demo­cratic Gov. L. Dou­glas Wilder, as well as Mr. Warner and Mr. Kaine.

Mr. McAuliffe named Le­var M. Stoney to be his next sec­re­tary of the com­mon­wealth. Mr. Stoney served as his deputy cam­paign man­ager this year and as po­lit­i­cal di­rec­tor for Demo­cratic state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds dur­ing Mr. Deeds’ un­suc­cess­ful gu­ber­na­to­rial run against Mr. McDon­nell in 2009. Mr. Deeds de­feated Mr. McAuliffe and Brian J. Mo­ran, a for­mer state del­e­gate and Demo­cratic Party of Vir­ginia chair­man, in that year’s pri­mary.

“Th­ese four lead­ers rep­re­sent decades of serv­ing Vir­ginia with pas­sion, pro­fes­sion­al­ism and pragmatism, and I am pleased that they will serve in my ad­min­is­tra­tion,” Mr. McAuliffe said.

The an­nounce­ments Mon­day mark the first sig­nif­i­cant staff ap­point­ments Mr. McAuliffe has made since his vic­tory over At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ken­neth T. Cuc­cinelli this month.

Cab­i­net of­fi­cers must be con­firmed by the Gen­eral As­sem­bly.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Vir­ginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe an­nounces Mon­day that Sec­re­tary of Fi­nance Ric Brown (at podium) will stay on in his ad­min­is­tra­tion, if only tem­po­rar­ily. Mr. McAuliffe also named his chief of staff, deputy chief of staff and sec­re­tary of the com­mon­wealth.

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