BALTIMORE (AP) — It’s been nearly eight months since Maryland’s last transportation secretary announced she was leaving, but Gov. Martin O’Malley has not yet named a replacement.

Transportation advocates tell The Baltimore Sun that the unusual delay is a growing concern.

O’Malley spokeswoman Raquel Guillory says the administration is interviewing candidates as part of a national search. She says it’s an important cabinet post, so officials are working to find the right person.

Maryland’s transportation secretary oversees a $3.7 billion budget. Maryland groups all transportation functions under one agency, covering highways, mass transit, airports, toll facilities and ports. Beverly Swaim-Staley left the post in late July.

Greater Washington Board of Trade President Jim Dinegar says his group is concerned. But he expects the post to be filled by the end of February.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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