Md. Senator Mooneys Chief of Staff

By Zuckerman, Jake | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), July 15, 2017 | Go to article overview

Md. Senator Mooneys Chief of Staff


Zuckerman, Jake, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., has hired a sitting Maryland state senator to serve as his chief of staff. Republican Sen. Michael Hough was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2010, and then the state Senate in 2014. Ted Dacey, Mooneys communications director, said Thursday that Hough started his new job in June.

Hough did not respond to multiple interview requests for this report.

Mooneys own tenure in the Maryland legislature ended just before Hough took office. Mooney served from 1999 to January 2011, representing Frederick and Washington counties, while Hough has served from January 2011 to now, representing Frederick and Carroll counties. His most recent term began in January 2015 and is set to continue through 2019.

However, Hough worked for Mooney from 2004 to 2007 as a legislative aide, according to his biography with the Maryland General Assembly.

Marylands legislature runs 90 days out of the year. In 2018, the General Assembly is scheduled to convene Jan. 10 and adjourn April 9. Committees and task forces also meet during the off-season.

Dacey said there is no plan yet for what will happen when Hough heads to Annapolis, Marylands capital, for the legislative session.

We do not have a plan to announce for January at this time, he said. We will let you know when we do.

While running for Congress, Mooney took heat for his own Maryland ties. After his time in the Maryland legislature, Mooney toyed with the idea of running for Congress in Maryland. He decided against it and opted to move from his Frederick home in 2013 to Charles Town, West Virginia, to run for the House seat vacated by now-Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., in 2014.

Then-Democratic candidate Nick Casey, who is chief of staff for Gov. Jim Justice, took on Mooney in the general election. In that race, Casey went after Mooney for his Maryland ties, running ads saying he is not one of us and that he moved to West Virginia just so he could run for public office.

When informed of the new hire, Democratic party operatives were quick to pounce on the congressman, reverting to the carpetbagger-themed attacks from election season.

Cole Leiter, regional press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the hire is evidence that Mooneys loyalty is with Maryland, not the Mountain State.

Representative Alex Mooneys constituents deserve to know how a former Maryland state senator, whose chief of staff is a current Maryland state senator, could possibly understand or represent the needs of folks in West Virginia, he said. Honestly, Maryland man Alex Mooney owes an explanation for every vote hes taken that goes against their best interests, and that starts with his vote to repeal their health coverage from 41,200 of his own constituents. …

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