The Acting U.S. Secretary of Transportation began her political career as an operative working on a New Jersey gubernatorial campaign. Maria Cino, who has been running the Department of Transportation since Norman Mineta left a few weeks ago, was the Assistant Research Director for Joseph “Bo” Sullivan, a millionaire businessman who sought the Republican nomination for Governor in 1981. Sullivan, who self-financed his campaign, finished third in a field of eight candidates, losing to Thomas Kean, Sr. Among Cino’s responsibilities on the Sullivan campaign was researching Kean’s record during his ten years in the State Assembly. After the ’81 primary, returned to Washington as a staffer for the Republican National Committee. She held numerous posts at the RNC and at the National Republican Congressional Committee, as National Political Director George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000, and has been Deputy Transportation Secretary since 2005. Published reports list Cino as being on the short list of permanent candidates for Mineta’s post.