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When Markell was sworn in as Governor in 2009, he inherited record budget shortfalls, rapidly rising unemployment, and a stagnant economy. Since then, he's balanced two budgets, helped open shuttered manufacturing facilities, won President Obama's Race to the Top competition for progress in public school reform, and signed new laws to drive improvements in the economy, environment, and education. On a national level, his colleagues asked him to be the lead Democrat on the National Governor's Association Economic Development Committee, chairman of the Democratic Governor's Association, and co-chair of the National Common Core Standards effort in education.