Ken Snyder, a senior advisor to Gov. Rendell, will assume duties as the governor's lead spokesman beginning tomorrow.
Gov. Rendell's press secretary, Chuck Ardo, had originally informed the governor's office that he would be retiring after a budget deal was struck.
With no budget deal on the horizon, Ardo, 62, said today he was stepping aside to allow for "consistency of message" through the budget process. "It's the beginning of the transition process," said Ardo, who will remain in the press office handling non-budget matters until he retires at the end of August.
Ardo said Snyder's appointment is a temporary assignment until a permanent press secretary is hired. Rendell came under fire in March for hiring Snyder on a $100,000 contract to handle publicity for federal stimulus funding during a government hiring freeze. Snyder, 43, Philadelphia-based media consultant and political strategist, said he will continue to be paid $9,060 a month until his contract expires Jan. 31.