MARYLAND (DC News Now) — Gov.-elect Wes Moore said he wants the new FBI headquarters to be in Maryland and has been lobbying President Joe Biden’s administration to keep it from going to neighboring Virginia.
In an interview with DC News Now, Moore said this is a serious priority even before he takes office in January as a decision can come down before the end of the year.
“I want the FBI in Maryland,” Moore said. “And I’ve been very transparent in my time as the next governor of the state of Maryland, I want that in Maryland.”
And given his relationship with the Biden White House and one of the new faces of the Democratic party, he might have that chance even with built-in advantages for Virginia. That state already houses Quantico, the FBI’s training grounds, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters have been in the nation’s capital since its creation in 1908 and was placed in the Department of Justice location until employees moved into its current location in the mid-1970s.
But the building named after its longtime controversial leader J. Edgar Hoover has been in disrepair for years, prompting FBI officials to scout for new locations.
The incoming governor who will succeed Republican two-term officer holder Larry Hogan has been quietly lobbying the Biden administration, joining his state’s congressional delegation as well as a host of other local officials. The target location: Prince George’s county.
“And if you look at the grading criteria that has been laid out by the federal government there’s no reason that Maryland shouldn’t just compete,” Moore said, “but that Maryland’s actually in a very good position to be able to get the win.”
And civil rights leaders like the National Urban League’s Marc Morial and the Rev. Al Sharpton have also been strongly urging the Biden administration to place the headquarters in Prince George’s County.
They contend that the federal government should put their building in either Landover or Greenbelt, which would allow it to plant itself in an overwhelming Black area that could create jobs and fuel development.
Hogan has been critical of the General Services Administration’s selection process that seems to give Virginia an edge such as having a grading system that gives points to a site that is close to Quantico.
But Moore said his incoming administration is calling on the White House to honor the grading criteria first laid out.
“Because we do believe that if the rules are honored, then Maryland’s going to be in a very good position to be successful in that,” he said.
Moore said he’s personally invested in this and will push hard.
“We already have been working behind the scenes to be able support and we’re excited to be able to do it in partnership with the local leadership and the federal delegation,” he said.
“This is high on my priority list,” he added.