Governor Martin O'Malley Names John McDonough as Maryland's 70th Secretary of State


Swearing in Secretary of StateANNAPOLIS, MD (July 16, 2008) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the appointment of John McDonough as Maryland’s 70th Secretary of State.  Mr. McDonough officially began his role as Secretary of State upon being sworn in today.

“I want to congratulate John McDonough on this appointment, and thank him for accepting this extraordinary responsibility as Maryland’s Secretary of State,” said Governor O’Malley.  “I am confident in John’s ability to serve the people of Maryland in this role, and look forward to having him as a member of our Executive Cabinet.  I also want to thank Interim Secretary Dennis Schnepfe for his outstanding work over these last 17 months.  He has left this agency in excellent condition, and has served honorably in his role as Interim Secretary.”

McDonough, a resident of Prince George’s County, joins the Governor’s Cabinet from his own law practice specializing in land use, zoning, and government. 

“I’m honored in the confidence and trust that the Governor has shown in me to fulfill this important role for Maryland,” said Mr. McDonough after being sworn in.  “My heartfelt appreciation goes to Dennis Schnepfe and the entire staff of the Office of the Secretary of State.  I’m so proud to be associated with the O’Malley-Brown administration, and look forward to getting started.”

A graduate of Bladensburg High School, McDonough received a BA from the Johns Hopkins University and JD from the University of Maryland School of Law.  As a member of the Maryland Bar since 1977, he has served in various capacities in law and government, including Legislative Aide to the Prince George’s County Council and Chief of Staff to the Prince George’s County Executive, as well as partner in several law firms throughout Maryland. 

Secretary of State speakingMcDonough’s civic accomplishments include the Maryland Stadium Authority; Vice President of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce; Member of the Board of Visitors at the University of Maryland School of Law, President’s Roundtable; Greater Washington Board of Trade; and Leadership Maryland.  He has also been active in a number of civic and charitable organizations, such as Catholic Charities, the American Red Cross, and the American Heart Association.  He has been married to his wife Mary Lou since 1972, and together they have three daughters, Emily, Caitlin and Aisling. 

As Secretary of State, McDonough will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing the standards of law in a variety of areas, including charitable solicitations, notaries, condominiums, certifications and publication of State regulations. The mission of the Office of Secretary of State is to assist Maryland citizens by issuing registrations, commissions, and publications, and providing critical information important to charitable giving decisions.

By Maryland law, the Senate must confirm the Secretary of State.  Confirmation will take place during the next legislative session.  McDonough is officially designated Secretary of State, however, upon taking the oath today.

Interim Secretary of State Dennis Schnepfe has served in the interim role since January 2007.  As a 33-year employee of the State of Maryland, Schnepfe served as Administrator of the Division of State Documents prior to being appointed as Interim Secretary.  He will return to this full-time role beginning today.


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