One of the top aides to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is stepping down.
Joseph Bryce, the governor's chief legislative officer, is leaving the O'Malley administration to join the lobbying firm Manis, Canning & Associates in Annapolis. O'Malley has named Bryce's deputy Stacy Mayer as his replacement.
Bryce was crucial in getting the gaming expansion bill passed during a special session of the General Assembly during the summer. Voters will decide the issue at the polls next week.
Bryce also served as chief legislative officer for former governor Parris Glendening.
In a statement, O'Malley praised Bryce's "command of the law and the facts" that "earned him the respect of legislators on both sides of the aisle" in the General Assembly.