ANNAPOLIS — The state’s chief tax collector Wednesday threw his support behind an effort to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to Baltimore.
Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat, said he was pleased to hear Republican Gov. Larry Hogan was teaming with Baltimore Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh in “aggressively pitching” Port Covington as a site for what is being called Amazon’s HQ2.
“This site, with it’s strategic location along the I-95 corridor and close proximity to the Port of Baltimore and Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International Airport, along with the fact that the Baltimore region is home to some of the most educated and productive residents in the nation. Port Covington would be the perfect site for Amazon,” Franchot told Gov. Larry Hogan during a meeting of the Board of Public Works.
In an interview after the meeting, Franchot said he fully backed the effort but in the end was less concerned about specific sites as long as the project went to Baltimore.
“The site is almost irrelevant to me. The key is it’s got to be in the city,” Franchot said. “That is the center of my attention right now as far as helping the state move forward economically. (Baltimore) has some major challenges and the solution to almost all the challenges is more jobs.”
Franchot joins a number of state and local leaders, including Baltimore County Executive Kevin B. Kamenez, who are backing an effort to bring the online retail giant and its projected 50,000 jobs to Baltimore.
Kamenetz is running for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018.
Last week, Hogan announced he would back the effort to bring Amazon to Baltimore.
Other jurisdictions around the state and the country are also expected to compete for the new facility.
On Tuesday, Prince George’s County Executive Rusher L. Baker III, another Democratic candidate for governor, indicated his county was prepared to take its pitch directly to the online retailer.