- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Democratic Gov.-elect Tom Wolf added two more names to his list of top advisers Thursday, nominating Harrisburg lawyer Pedro Cortes as secretary of state and appointing Philadelphia attorney Denise Smyler to be the governor’s general counsel.

If confirmed by a majority vote of the state Senate, Cortes will be serving his second stint as secretary of state, a job that includes overseeing Pennsylvania’s elections.

The Harrisburg lawyer served in the post for seven years during Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell’s administration - longer than any of his predecessors, according to Wolf’s transition team - and was the first Latino to hold the post.

Smyler worked for six years in the Philadelphia district attorney’s office and was the first woman to serve as counsel to the city’s police department. She was the founding attorney of the Smyler Firm, which united with another Philadelphia law firm, Ahmad, Zaffarese & Smyler LLC, in 2013.

Smyler’s position does not require Senate confirmation.

“Denise has a long record of excellence and experience working with multiple levels of government, and Pedro vastly improved operations at the Department of State during his previous tenure,” Wolf said.

Previously, the governor-elect nominated Eileen McNulty, who served a four-year stint as secretary of revenue during Gov. Robert P. Casey’s administration, to take the job again in his administration. Wolf himself served as revenue secretary for nearly two years in the Rendell administration.

Wolf nominated Dennis Davin, the director of Allegheny County Economic Development, as secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development.

McNulty’s and Davin’s nominations both require Senate approval.

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