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Moran Pushes for Northrop Grumman HQ in Rosslyn

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) is pushing for Northrop Grumman to relocate to Rosslyn. He told the Arlington County Board that he personally called Wes Bush, president and CEO of Northrop Grumman, to make the case for the huge defense contractor moving its corporate headquarters to Rosslyn.

“[I] let him know that while there can’t be any quid pro quo, of course, I would like to see Northrop Grumman locate in Rosslyn, and if not in Rosslyn at least in the eighth district,” Moran said during a work session with the board on Monday.

“I think Rosslyn has advantages that other places don’t,” like close proximity to defense and intelligence facilities as well as easy Metro access, Moran said.

“We agreed upon the boundaries of the eighth district,” Moran added, haltingly, although it’s not clear whether he was referring to any specific commitment made by Bush. The eighth congressional district includes Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County.

Northrop announced in January that it would move to Washington by 2011 to be closer to its biggest customer, the U.S. government.

Arlington is competing with the District, Montgomery County, and other local jurisdictions for the company’s headquarters. The competition has included insults thrown at Arlington from a D.C. Council member.

During Monday’s session Terry Holzheimer, the director of Arlington Economic Development and the county’s lead for the Northrop headquarters bid, told Moran that he believes a decision will be made by Northrop in the near future.

Holzheimer said he believes efforts by the state, including efforts by Gov. Bob McDonnell, make it likely that Northrop will locate in some Northern Virginia locality.

“I believe Virginia has a strong position,” Holzheimer said, adding that he’s been in weekly negotiations with Northrop.

Curiously, the county apparently did not try to coordinate its efforts with Rep. Moran, who sits on the powerful House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Northrop Grumman has been one of Moran’s top campaign contributors.

“I haven’t been involved,” Moran told the board, with a measured degree of exasperation. “Just a suggestion, particularly when you’re dealing with a large defense contractor, you might think about coordinating with our office at some point.”

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