Local joins McCain campaign

At the ripe age of 27, Maria Ann Comella, a Loudonville native, has been a part of more political campaigns than one can count on a single hand. Now, she is preparing to enter what some consider the major league of campaigning. On Monday, Aug. 18, Comella began her position as press secretary for Sen. John McCain's vice presidential candidate.

Her interest in politics began when she was young, she said, as a result of nearly nonstop political discussions between her parents. Her mother, Ann Comella, who died in February 2007, was an Albany County legislator.

According to her father, Joseph Comella, his daughter's interest truly piqued after she began participating in the Colonie Youth Court. After serving in every position in the court, her father said, Comella knew she wanted to be in politics.

It was fascinating to get into the judicial process, she said.

While she was in high school, Comella interned in then-Gov. George Pataki's office. In 2002, she helped with her first campaign, which was the campaign for Pataki's re-election.

After the campaign, Comella moved out of the state to attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C. It was there that she realized she wanted to be a part of politics on a national level.

First, she interned on Capitol Hill. Then, in 2004, she worked on the Bush/Cheney campaign as the communications director in the New Hampshire office.

Following that, she worked in Iowa on Jim Nussle's unsuccessful bid for governor in 2006.

Beginning in January 2007, Comella joined Rudy Guiliani's presidential campaign as deputy communications director and national press secretary.

Maria said she traveled everywhere the former mayor of New York City traveled, speaking to reporters and helping prepare all media documents.

According to her father, even after Guiliani dropped out of the race, "He kept her on as press secretary."

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