Editor’s Note: DC News Now’s full interview with Governor Wes Moore is included at the bottom of this story.

MARYLAND (DC News Now) — Maryland’s top elected leaders on Wednesday made an impassioned pitch to federal officials to win the future home of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to Prince George’s County over neighboring Virginia.

The more than two-hour meeting with the General Services Administration left the impression on Maryland officials, they said, that the process of selection of the nation’s top law enforcement agency’s new home will be fair and no longer tip to Springfield, Virginia as the favored location.

Led by new Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, the delegation comprised of U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks believe they have the best sites in Landover and Greenbelt that are build ready and much cheaper to construct.

“And we’re very serious when we say that Maryland is the best possible site for the FBI on every single criteria,” Moore said.

Moore and others in Maryland had complaints after the GSA decided last year that a key factor in selecting the new site was how close the facility had to be to Quantico, the bureau’s training facility in Virginia.

“This is the biggest and largest project that GSA has ever decided on. And this is serious business,” Moore added. “And I understand why people in Virginia, that might have seemed exuberant because last September the rules were changed to inherently benefit them.”

The governor said he and the delegation felt like they received a fair hearing in front of the GSA. But they aren’t afraid, he said, to use President Joe Biden and his promises requiring federal agencies to use racial equity in leveraging the decision. Prince George’s County is predominately African American.

“This is an important, legacy defining statement and item for the White House and the Biden administration,” Moore said. “And we’re hopeful that the White House is going to make sure their opinion is also heard in this as well. We are very much hoping that the president continues to lean on these agencies to help them understand what his personal opinion is on this.”

The FBI headquarters has been in Washington DC since 1974 but talks have been in the works for more than a decade to find a new home for the bureau. The GSA narrowed the search down to three sites – the two in Maryland and one in Virginia.

Alsobrooks said GSA officials said the process will be fair but she believes Maryland by far is the better choice based on location, cost and equity given her county’s diverse make-up.

“We submit to you that locating the FBI in Maryland serves the interest of the United States,”
she said. “It is clear that this process has gone on for over 10 years. It is so clear to anyone who looks at the criteria that’s been set out over the last 10 years that Prince George’s County objectively is the strongest site.”

Carl Gray III, a longtime Prince George’s County resident, said he’s excited that Maryland has a fair chance.

“We don’t really have a lot of federal buildings here. Virginia has them. DC has them,” he said. “We know the history of the FBI with our people,” commenting on the bureau’s treatment of Black people during the infamous FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reign.

“If there was any way to repair some of that, this would be the way to do it,” he said.

Virginia officials that include Gov. Glenn Youngkin and others are expected to meet with GSA officials on Thursday.

“By selecting Maryland, this is about much more than where to put a building. It’s about much more than where this infrastructure will last,” Moore said. “This is about making the right decision for today and also about making the right decision for the future.”