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Janet Napolitano Resigns As Homeland Security Sec.; Could Gov. O’Malley Replace Her?

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PatWarrenWebPhoto Pat Warren
Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano resigns to oversee the University of California system. While President Barack Obama praises her service—she has been Homeland Security Secretary since 2009—questions are already raised about who will take her place.

Political reporter Pat Warren has some local speculation.

As mayor and now governor, Martin O’Malley has been in the forefront of homeland security issues.

“Sadly, the federal government is asking America’s cities where great numbers of the poorest of our fellow citizens live to shoulder the entire cost of homeland defense and it’s not right. In fact, it’s unconstitutional,” he said.

As governor-elect, he aligned the state with DC and Virginia in organizing front-line defense. As governor, he is the first to coordinate radio communications with all first responders.

But should be be considered for secretary of Homeland Security?

“I think he would be a great, great secretary, quite frankly,” said former county executive and now political analyst Ted Venetoulis.

Venetoulis thinks O’Malley’s a natural for the job.

“Now whether Martin wants it or whether he’ll be invited to take it is a whole different issue but as far as his qualities and his ability to serve, I think it’d be a natural,” said Venetoulis.

The governor’s office says he has had a great working relationship with Secretary Napolitano and wishes her all the best in her future endeavors but saw no reason to comment on a possible appointment.

“I don’t know if he’s interested but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s under consideration,” said Kearney.

Napolitano was governor of Arizona. Former O’Malley cabinet member Steve Kearney says it’s the kind of leadership Homeland Security needs.

“To manage a team of leaders as governors do with their cabinet,” said Kearney.

Two of the three Homeland Security secretaries have been governors.

Again, this is sheer speculation and the course, both the president and the governor would have to want it, so we may never know.

There’s been no word from the White House on a possible replacement for Napolitano.

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