New press secretary to Hayden held same post with Rasmussen

April 21, 1994|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,Sun Staff Writer

Robert W. Hughes, press secretary to Democratic Baltimore County Executive Dennis F. Rasmussen from 1987 to 1990, returned yesterday in the same role for Executive Roger B. Hayden, a Republican.

Mr. Hughes, 44, is Mr. Hayden's fourth press secretary since his December 1990 inauguration. Ann Dandridge resigned two weeks ago to become part-time executive director of the Baltimore County Citizens Foundation and a consultant to the county Economic Development Commission.

During the 1990 campaign in which he defeated Mr. Rasmussen, Mr. Hayden criticized his opponent for maintaining what he called a "bloated" communications office. There were 11 employees, including a graphics section to serve all county departments.

Mr. Hughes said Mr. Rasmussen's philosophy was that all county communications functions should be consolidated in a single office. Mr. Hayden, he said, believes in a more limited role for the office, particularly in support of county departments.

Mr. Hayden is preparing a re-election campaign, but Mr. Hughes said he would not be involved in that.

"He will have a separate campaign staff," Mr. Hughes said.

Mr. Hayden said later, however, that "if Bob wants to help me on his own time, he can, like anyone else."

Mr. Hughes said he will receive the same $62,500 salary as before and will have two assistants.

"Roger and I haven't yet discussed media policy," Mr. Hughes said. "His intent is to be open with the media, and my job is to facilitate the flow of information through the media."

Mr. Hughes left county service several weeks before Mr. Hayden's inauguration. The two men said yesterday that they met for the first time a few months ago. Mr. Hughes said they spoke only one other time before the executive called last week to offer the press secretary position.

Mr. Hughes said he has missed county government and is happy to return.

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