A former executive director of the Maryland Democratic Party who later oversaw the widely acclaimed Star Spangled 200 celebration in Baltimore has started her own public affairs company.
Ann Beegle, 46, announced Wednesday the formation of Ann Beegle LLC, a public affairs company that will help organizations get their messages out to government officials and voters.
“The political landscape is shifting in Maryland. Over the past decade, electoral campaigns have become much more sophisticated and public policy campaigns are more layered. A single lobbyist or PR firm is not enough to influence important public policy decisions,” said Beegle. “I collaborate with professionals who understand this shift and that working smarter, not harder, involves building alliances, engaging voters and taking advantage of new media.”
Beegle, who served as chief of staff to former Baltimore County Executive and current Maryland Department of Transportation Sec. James T. Smith Jr., will run her business from an office within the Towson law firm of Smith, Gildea & Schmidt.
Michael Paul Smith, the son of the former county executive, and David Gildea, who was once law clerk to Jim Smith when he served as a Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge, are partners in the law firm. The former county executive was also briefly associated with the firm before becoming transportation secretary.
In 2006, Beegle left her position with Smith to run his 2006 re-election campaign and oversee his Baltimore County Victory Slate campaign committee—an effort that helped Democrats hold or pick up County Council and state legislative seats in Baltimore County as well as assist Martin O’Malley in defeating then Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
The slate campaign was also responsible for transferring nearly $500,000 to Scott Shellenberger in his first campaign for Baltimore County State’s Attorney.
Four years later, Beegle oversaw campaign efforts for two Baltimore County Council members—Cathy Bevins and Tom Quirk—as well as the election that year of Gregg Bernstein as Baltimore City State’s Attorney.
She served as executive director of the state Democratic Party from 2001 to 2003.
Beegle’s effort is similar to Kearney O’Doherty Public Affairs, the Baltimore-based firm founded by Steve Kearney, a former top aide to Mayor and Gov. Martin J. O’Malley and Damian O’Doherty, who once served as a senior aide to former Baltimore County Executive and current Maryland Department of Transportation Sec. James T. Smith Jr.
O’Doherty ran a similar venture out of the Smith, Gildea & Schmidt firm after leaving his position with Baltimore County and before teaming up with Kearney.