Reed Cordish. Photo via

In the 1970s, a Baltimorean named David Cordish joined President Jimmy Carter’s administration to help the president focus on ways to revitalize cities. This year, one of Cordish’s sons is drawing attention as a likely candidate to follow in his footsteps by joining the administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Reed Cordish, a principal in the Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, is expected to serve as Assistant to the President in the Trump administration, according to reports by Jewish Insider, The Jerusalem Post, and JP Updates.

Jewish Insider broke the story with the headline, “Reed Cordish set to join Trump Administration: Sources.”

Others followed: “Reed Cordish Expected to Join Trump Administration,” reported the Jewish Journal, and “Trump appoints Kushner friend for White House staff.” The latter, from JP Updates, noted, “Cordish may have been selected due to a fundraiser he co-hosted for Trump’s campaign in October.”

If he joins the Trump administration in a high-level position, Reed Cordish, who is in his early 40s and the youngest son of  The Cordish Companies CEO and Chairman David Cordish, would be one of at least two people with Baltimore connections to do so. Former Johns Hopkins Hospital brain surgeon Ben Carson has been named to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the same agency where David Cordish served in the Carter administration.

Reed Cordish would also be part of a trend in which Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, is enlisting friends to work in the White House.

Cordish could not be reached Friday morning. A woman who works for his company said he was out of the office.

In its article this week, Jewish Insider quoted “sources familiar with the transition” as saying Reed Cordish was expected to join the Trump administration.

“Questions remain whether Jared Kushner will join the incoming Trump administration in a formal White House role,” the publication said. “While lawyers are left to address anti-nepotism law questions, Kushner is busying himself with helping close friends line up West Wing positions. One such friend is Reed Cordish, Vice President of The Cordish Companies — his family’s Baltimore-based real estate group, who is expected to serve as Assistant to the President.”

The publication noted Ivanka Trump introduced Cordish to his wife, Maggie, and that she and Kushner attended the Cordishes’ wedding.

“Ivanka set the junior Cordish up with one of her best friends from college, Margaret Katz,” the publication said. “The couple married in 2010 in the backyard of what was to be their future Baltimore home, with Jared and Ivanka in attendance.”

Cordish has also been quoted in articles by Vanity Fair and The New Yorker about Kushner in the role of “close friend of Jared,” the Insider noted.

When Quest Magazine covered the 2010 Cordish wedding, the publication reported that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were in attendance and ran a photo of them. It also said Ivanka Trump “designed Maggie’s ring and bridal shoes.”

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The Insider pointed out that Donald Trump and David Cordish first met as adversaries when Trump sued Cordish in a dispute over a Florida casino. However, after a judge “pushed for mediation,” the pair met in-person to settle the dispute and ultimately became friends, according to the publication.

Trump confirmed the story last year during a speech to the Maryland Republican Party.

He said he sued David Cordish for “hundreds of millions of dollars” in a “vicious, vicious lawsuit” and was required to meet with Cordish as part of a mandatory mediation. “I walk in and I fell in love in about two minutes,” Trump recalled. “We worked out our problems in … 11 seconds, and we’ve just been friends ever since…It’s really been a great friendship.”

During the Maryland Republican Party event last year, Donald Trump also remarked on the way Ivanka brought Reed Cordish and Maggie Katz together.

“When Reed and Maggie got together,” Donald Trump said, “the funny story is, they had a lunch, and I said, ‘How did their lunch go?’ And Ivanka said, ‘I don’t know. It lasted about seven hours.’ I said, ‘That’s a good sign.’ It was a lunch that never stopped.”

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Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.