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Maryland Senate hopefuls, other pols vow help for Baltimore after bridge collapse

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Maryland politicians, including those battling it out for the state’s open Senate seat, mourned the Tuesday collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore and vowed to support the city as it begins a lengthy recovery process.

“Baltimore is a city known for its resilience, and we must all now rally around Baltimore as the city begins to heal, rebuild and move forward,” said Rep. David Trone (D-Md.), who’s running in the party’s primary to replace retiring Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.).

His opponent in that primary contest, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D), said in a post from her official campaign account that she was “heartbroken” by the loss and “standing by to send further assistance.”

Former Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.), the presumptive GOP nominee for the Senate seat, said he was “heartbroken” by the collapse and praying for those missing in the water, adding “we are incredibly grateful for the first responders and rescue teams working to save lives.”

The state’s other sitting senator, Democrat Chris Van Hollen, vowed during a Tuesday morning press conference alongside Gov. Wes Moore (D-Md.) that “the federal government is your partner in this effort.”

The bridge collapsed in the early hours of Tuesday morning after a cargo ship collided with it. In the hours since, Van Hollen said he’s spoken twice with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who “has pledged that [the Biden administration] will do everything they can to very quickly release, emergency response funds for this important project.”

Baltimore area Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D) said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the Coast Guard informed him that “initial reports indicate that a harbor pilot and assistant were onboard who ‘reported power issues, multiple alarms on the bridge, and loss of propulsion prior to the incident.’”

Both Moore and an FBI official who attended Tuesday morning’s press conference, William J. DelBagno, said that signs so far point to the collapse being an accident.

“We haven’t seen any credible evidence of a terrorist attack,” Moore said.

Speaker Mike Johnson has been briefed on the bridge collapse, according to an aide.

Other federal officials outside of Maryland conceded the likely long-term economic and trade impacts from the loss of the major connection point in a major city, but stressed their focus remained on saving as many lives as possible.

“Of course it will affect trade,” said Rep. Carol Miller (R-W.Va.), following a brief House pro forma session. “But I’m more worried about the families and, of course, all of the inconvenience that will occur because the bridge is gone and it was such a good link.”

Jordain Carney contributed.