- The Washington Times - Monday, November 11, 2002

Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. continues to reach out to Democrats to build a transition team to help him take over as Maryland's governor.
Mr. Ehrlich will appoint Democrat and former Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg to an executive leadership spot on the team, a source close to the transition said yesterday.
Price George's County venture capitalist Gary S. Murray Sr., another Democrat, is also expected to be named as early as Wednesday, when Mr. Ehrlich returns from a brief post-election hiatus.
Mr. Steinberg and Mr. Murray would be top advisers to Lt. Gov.-elect Michael S. Steele, who is leading the transition team, and former Glendening Cabinet Secretary James T. Brady, who will run the day-to-day transition duties.
Mr. Steinberg served 20 years in the state Senate, briefly as Senate president and as lieutenant governor for eight years under William Donald Schaefer. But he is no newcomer to the Ehrlich camp or cross-over politics. Mr. Steinberg was part of Mr. Ehrlich's inner circle on election night, and he endorsed Republican Ellen Sauerbrey in her unsuccessful run for governor in 1998.
Mr. Steele is expected to emulate Mr. Steinberg's transition plan when he becomes lieutenant governor, especially its early success, the source also said.
Mr. Steinberg ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1984.
Mr. Murray owns the Landover, Md.-based venture-capital firm HumanVision LLC and would advise the Ehrlich administration on such matters as business, economic development and education. Though he is a registered Democrat, Mr. Murray describes himself a "very independent" thinker.
He declined to confirm the pending announcement, but acknowledged offering his services to Mr. Ehrlich, whom he calls a friend.
Mr. Ehrlich's victory marks the first time in 36 years that the Democrats will have vacated the governor's mansion in Annapolis.
Mr. Steele wants the new administration to transcend party lines.
"We want to transform the way government performs," he said. "To move the behemoth we know as state government, we need a strong and talented team. We really want the best and the brightest."
Mr. Murray agrees. He compared an Ehrlich appointment to his experience building companies in the fast-paced technology market.
"Our government is archaic in many ways and not built for this era," he said.
"This is a knowledge-based society, and a lot of our rules are based on an industrial- or agriculture-based society."
Mr. Murray also said he offered Mr. Ehrlich his services "to the extent that I can bring a process of thought that helps this state grow, evolve into something special, not change for the sake of change."
Gov. Parris N. Glendening has provided Mr. Ehrlich's transition team with an Annapolis office, which opened with little fanfare Friday, three days after the election. Transition operations officially begin there today.

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