Ho­gan says Trump could help state land new FBI head­quar­ters

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Michael Dresser mdresser@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/michaelt­dresser

Gov. Larry Ho­gan ex­pressed op­ti­mism Fri­day that the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump could im­prove Mary­land’s chances of land­ing the new FBI head­quar­ters.

The Repub­li­can gover­nor oth­er­wise de­clined to spec­u­late on what his re­la­tion­ship would be with the pres­i­dent-elect af­ter Ho­gan’s pointed pub­lic re­fusal to vote for the Repub­li­can Party’s nom­i­nee.

But Ho­gan said per­suad­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to move the FBI head­quar­ters to Mary­land in­stead of Virginia “should be a lot eas­ier” with Trump in the White House.

“It should be a slam dunk at this point,” he said.

Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion is ex­pected to choose among one po­ten­tial site in Spring­field, Va., and two in Prince Ge­orge’s County. The new FBI cam­pus, which would re­place the ag­ing J. Edgar Hoover Build­ing in Wash­ing­ton, is ex­pected to bring about11,000 jobs to the state in which it lo­cates.

The two po­ten­tial Mary­land sites are in Lan­dover and Largo, close enough to the Bal­ti­more re­gion to have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact here.

Ho­gan said he thought Virginia was play­ing games by get­ting the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion to de­lay a de­ci­sion that had been ex­pected this year. He pointed to an ex­pec­ta­tion that a vic­tory by Hil­lary Clin­ton would give a Vice Pres­i­dent Tim Kaine — a Virginia sen­a­tor — and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a long­time Clin­ton backer, more say in the de­ci­sion.

Apart from that, Ho­gan had lit­tle to say about the elec­tion’s out­come.

“We’re re­ally happy it’s over with,” Ho­gan said. He ex­pressed hope that peo­ple could get back to talk­ing about some­thing other than pol­i­tics.

Asked about re­cent protests against Trump’s elec­tion, Ho­gan de­fended cit­i­zens’ right to ex­press them­selves, as long as they do so peace­fully.

The gover­nor spoke with re­porters af­ter tak­ing part in the ded­i­ca­tion of a Gold Star Fam­i­lies Memo­rial Mon­u­ment in An­napo­lis. The site is at the north end of the Sev­ern River bridge.

The black stone memo­rial was erected by the Her­shel “Woody” Wil­liams Medal of Honor Foun­da­tion, with sup­port from the state, as a trib­ute to fam­i­lies that lost a loved one in the na­tion’s wars. Wil­liams, who won the na­tion’s high­est mil­i­tary honor, was among the speak­ers at the ded­i­ca­tion.

Ho­gan ap­peared to choke up dur­ing his speech.

“I can’t even be­gin to fathom the unimag­in­able loss and heart­break of los­ing a son or daugh­ter, or fa­ther or mother, or sis­ter, a brother or a spouse,” he said. “It got to me,” Ho­gan said after­ward. Jan­ice Chance, pres­i­dent of the Mary­land Gold Star Moth­ers, said she was “ec­static” that Mary­land fi­nally has a mon­u­ment to Gold Star fam­i­lies.

She said that while many other states have such memo­ri­als, many of them are tucked away in vet­er­ans ceme­ter­ies. Mary­land’s is in a prom­i­nent lo­ca­tion, ad­ja­cent to the ex­ist­ing World War II and Pearl Har­bor memo­ri­als.

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