John P. McDonough

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John P. McDonough
John McDonough.jpg
Maryland Secretary of State
In office
July 16, 2008 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 7
PredecessorDennis C. Schnefe
Base salary$87,500
Elections and appointments
Appointed byGovernor Martin O'Malley
Term limitsNone
High schoolBladensburg High School (1968)
Bachelor'sJohns Hopkins University (1972)
J.D.University of Maryland School of Law (1977)
Date of birthJuly 7, 1950
Place of birthScranton, Pennsylvania
Office website
John Patrick McDonough (born July 7, 1950, in Scranton, Pennsylvania) is the current Democratic Maryland Secretary of State. He was appointed to the statewide position by Governor Martin O'Malley, taking over for Interim Secretary of State Dennis Schnepfe, who had served in the office since January 2007.[1]

In his capacity as secretary of state, McDonough is responsible for all administrative and record-keeping functions of the Maryland state government, in addition to holding custody of the state seal.[2]

Before McDonough assumed the role of secretary of state on July 16, 2008, he has distinguished himself as a lawyer specializing in "land use, zoning and government." These areas are the focus of his legal practice, John P. McDonough, LLC, which he founded in 2006 on the tail of an over three decade run working as partner, and later managing partner, at two major Maryland law firms.[1] He practice law right up until his appointment as secretary of state.

McDonough's past political experiences include serving, at different times, in the roles of Vice-Chair and Counsel to the Prince George's County Democratic Central Committee.

In Maryland, the secretary of state is selected by gubernatorial appointment with the consent of the state senate. The officer serves at the pleasure of the sitting governor and is not subject to term limits.


McDonough is a native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, but his family moved Prince George's County when he was two years old, and remained there into adulthood. For four years beginning in 1970, McDonough worked as a legislative aide for Prince George's County Council. From 1974 until 1978, he served as Chief of Staff to Prince George's County Executive. He was a member of the Maryland Stadium Authority, which was created by Chapter 283, Acts of 1986 Maryland General Assembly and whose initial mission was to return the National Football League (NFL) to Baltimore. He returned to Prince George's County politics, serving as vice chair of its Democratic Central Committee from 1998 to 2000 and then as its Counsel since 2000.[1]

McDonough was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1977 and practiced law in the state for over three decades leading up to his appointment as secretary of state. His legal credits include three years as a partner at Cross, Rozner, Edwards, and McDonough and twenty-eight years with O'Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, the final eight of which he spent serving as a managing partner for the firm.


  • Graduated from Bladensburg High School (1968)
  • Bachelor's degree, John Hopkins University (1972) in political science
  • Juris Doctorate degree, University of Maryland School of Law (1977)

Political career

Maryland Secretary of State (2008-Present)

McDonough has served as Maryland Secretary of State since July 2008.[1]



McDonough was appointed Maryland Secretary of State by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on July 16, 2008.[1]


John McDonough currently resides in Mitchellville, Maryland with his wife, Mary Lou Gober, where they have lived since 1979. The couple have three daughters together - Emily, Caitlin, and Aisling.

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Contact Information


Capitol Address:
John P. McDonough, Secretary of State
Jeffrey Building
16 Francis Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

Phone: (410) 974-5521
Fax: (410) 974-5190

See also

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Dennis C. Schnepfe
Maryland Secretary of State
Succeeded by