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 about 11,000 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.