Harford County Executive David Craig's bid for Maryland governor is gaining added momentum as a campaign manager with proven experience and strong ties to the state will oversee strategic and operational details.
The new campaign manager, Paul Ellington, has more than 30 years of experience in political and business consulting at the federal, state and local levels and managing issue-based and candidate-specific campaigns in Maryland and Washington, D.C. The campaign also announced a communications director, Jim Pettit, who will oversee policy and message development and media relations.
"This campaign is about proving to voters that they have a real a choice in 2014," Craig, who announced his candidacy June 3, said in a press release. "With these dedicated professionals on my team, we are well-positioned to demonstrate to people who care deeply about Maryland that we will bring them a government that works for them and not against them."
A small business owner before entering politics full-time, Elllington was a local elected official in Prince George's County. Maryland political experience includes having served three separate chairmen as the executive director of the Maryland Republican Party.
With political accomplishments culminating in the election of Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. as the only Republican Governor since 1966, Ellington went on to became chief of staff to Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and president of GOPAC, a training organization for elected officials in Washington, D.C.
After his service at GOPAC, Ellington returned to Maryland to work full-time as a government relations, business development and political consultant. He has worked with Maryland clients at the federal, state, county and municipal levels and has been involved in 50 national, state and local campaigns.
"Maryland needs a proven leader and Maryland Republicans need a winner," Ellington said. "That is why I am supporting David Craig for governor. More than any other potential or declared candidate, David Craig has successfully led and managed large organizations."
Pettit, David Craig's new communications director, has served in a similar capacity for U.S. Senate and House campaigns, on Capitol Hill, and in the Ehrlich administration in the Office of Homeland Security. Most recently, his Maryland political experience includes serving grassroots organization Change Maryland as communications and policy director where he initiated, researched and wrote reports on tax migration, the state's tax burden and economic development.
He will devote his statewide political communications efforts exclusively to Craig's gubernatorial campaign.