Baker: Prince George's Amazon bid is good for the entire state

When Amazon announced that it was looking for a place to build its new headquarters and would be accepting proposals, countless states, counties and cities began touting why they are best place for Amazon’s new HQ2. The Hogan administration responded appropriately by instructing all 24 local jurisdictions and developers on Monday, Sept. 11, to submit potential locations for the new Amazon HQ2 by Friday, Sept. 15. Prince George’s County, like other jurisdictions and businesses, jumped into action and started crafting a compelling proposal which we submitted by the deadline.

I was stunned to learn on the afternoon of the deadline that Governor Hogan had unilaterally abandoned that approach by preemptively and without notice deciding to back the Port Covington site, then second, astounded to read the editorial published in The Baltimore Sun on Sept. 21 entitled “Et tu, Rushern,” which implied that our proposal was some form of anarchy or anti-Team Maryland. I am perplexed that The Sun editors have decided to criticize me for following the exact process set by the Department of Commerce and for having the audacity to compete for jobs and opportunity that would positively impact Prince George’s County and the entire state of Maryland.

Amazon is not making this decision by deciding which “state” they want for their second headquarters, they are specifically looking at competing metropolitan areas. Our goal is to ensure that Maryland is in the mix for the 50,000 jobs that Amazon would bring to the winning jurisdiction. Many experts analyzing this competition have placed Washington, D.C., and its suburbs as a top national contender for Amazon. If Amazon does choose the National Capital Region, it is in the state of Maryland’s best interest to have a site to compete with locations in the District and Virginia.

Yes, I am running for governor of this state, and yes, I know how important the city of Baltimore is to our state. Whether it is my support for the Red Line or working in collaboration with the agendas of both Mayor Catherine Pugh and former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, I understand a stronger Baltimore means a stronger Maryland.

Please know that whether I am county executive or governor, I want the best for each and every resident of this great state.

Rushern L. Baker III, Upper Marlboro

The writer is Prince George’s County executive and a Democratic candidate for governor.

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