A new role for Yvette Lewis

(Photo: Maryland Democratic Party)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Almost as fast as a quick scene change, Yvette Lewis has suddenly found herself in a new role: head of the Maryland Democratic Party.

As the party's first vice chairwoman, she stepped into the acting chairwoman role with the sudden departure of Gov. Martin O'Malley's brother, Peter. The governor's younger brother, whom the Democratic State Central Committee had approved in March as party chairman, announced earlier this month that he was taking the job of chief of staff to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Lewis, who is 58, says she loves the grunt work of phone banks, putting up signs and registering people to vote.

She hopes to use her experience as a volunteer to energize others for 2012 elections.