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Virginia Politics
Posted at 09:36 AM ET, 10/21/2011

McDonnell pursues Maryland-based Lockheed Martin

It’s been almost two weeks since a Maryland county council talked about passing a resolution asking Congress to spend less on wars, irking Bethesda-based defense giant Lockheed Martin.

We know Virginia immediately seized on the dispute, contacting the company, which employs more than 5,000 workers in Montgomery County, Md., to try to lure it to the state.

But as of last week, Gov. Bob McDonnell and Lt. Bill Bolling, the state’s chief jobs creation officer, had not contacted Lockheed Martin directly.
The formal ribbon cutting welcoming the move of Northrop Grumman's world headquarters to Fairfax County. From left: Rep. Jim Moran, Gov. Bob McDonnell, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Northrop CEO Wesley G. Bush, Sen. Mark Warner and Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova. (Tom Jackman/The Washington Post)

Has that changed?

McDonnell (R) smiled broadly when asked if he had called Lockheed Martin executives to woo them to Virginia.

“We are always talking to people [whose] governments are making them feel unwelcome,’’ he said coyly in a recent interview.

Maryland has lost at least two defense contractors to Virginia in recent years. Last year, Northrop Grumman chose Virginia over Maryland for its global headquarters after a process that pitted the two neighboring states against each other. The defense firm moved to Falls Church this summer.

Virginia officials, who have long sought to lure Lockheed Martin’s headquarters to the state, initially had officials at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership contact the company.

“We talk to lots of companies,’’ McDonnell said. “We are always trying to find ways to bring them here.”

McDonnell said he hasn’t spoken to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley about the issue, but that his Democratic colleague to the north should be upset by the scene unfolding in his state.

“You see Martin O’Malley doesn’t think states ought to compete with one another,’’ McDonnell said. “He’s just absolutely dead wrong.”

By  |  09:36 AM ET, 10/21/2011

 
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