WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Maryland Governor Wes Moore isn’t leaving anything to chance in lobbying the president for one huge favor: Helping bring the coveted future home of the FBI to Maryland.
Moore said he believes he has a friend in the White House with President Joe Biden.
“He knows, this is a personal priority for me,” the governor said. “This is a decision that I take personally.”
Moore wants the FBI building in Maryland over rival Virginia. He said he’s willing to leverage his relationship with Biden to land the nation’s top law enforcement agency.
“I think that his opinion on this is going to be important and should be heard and understood as this final decision is being made,” Moore said.
The governor invoked Biden’s two executive orders to promote racial equity in federal government decisions.
Moore thinks this covers the two FBI sites Maryland is touting in predominately Black Prince George’s County. They are in Landover and Greenbelt, while the site would be in Springfield if Virginia is chosen.
Maryland officials cried foul last year when General Services Administration announced that being close to Quantico, the agency’s Virginia training facility, should be considered a key criterion. The GSA in conjunction with the FBI is in charge of making the decision on relocation.
Virginia officials said that Fairfax County meets the equity requirement set forth by Biden but Maryland officials have contended that the county is one of the wealthiest in the nation without the racial inequities that make Prince George’s County more qualified.
“We’ve had the Maryland delegation that’s been working for a decade on this issue,” Moore said. “Now as we’re getting to a completion point, that we’re honoring what people expected, what they fought for.”
This is not a view shared by Virginia officials who have lobbied for their Springfield site on the grounds of a GSA facility. Those like Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine say they want the president to sit this one out.
“We don’t think asking somebody to put their thumb on the scale makes any sense here,” Kaine said. “We just say, you’ve got criteria, look at the criteria and make a decision.”
John Miles Coleman is at the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. He understands why the governor is pushing the racial equity piece and how it might play with the president.
“Really throughout his presidency, Biden has really emphasized themes of diversity and inclusion,” Coleman said. “Something that Gov. Moore’s mentioned is that Prince George’s is a majority Black County. If Maryland does end up getting it, it could be seen as sort of an early feather in Wes Moore’s cap.”
Moore said he isn’t just lobbying for Maryland but believes all the factors of cost, location and being ready to build on are in favor of his state.
“We’ve had the Maryland delegation that’s been working for a decade on this issue,” he said.
Moore says if all is fair, his state wins.
“We’re not seeking preference,” he said. “We’re seeking fairness.”.