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Ridge Resigns as Homeland Security Chief

December 1, 2004

Ridge Resigns as Homeland Security Chief
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has resigned. During a press conference held Tuesday, Ridge said that he would remain in the post until February 1 unless a successor is confirmed sooner.

"In my judgment, Tom Ridge will be recognized as one of the most devoted ‘public servants’ of the past two decades," said CrossSphere Legislative Counsel Jim Santini. "Congressman, popular governor and the first secretary of the most challenging department in the federal government, Secretary Ridge has truly contributed substantial dignity to the sometimes margined label of ‘politician.’ "

Ridge, who accepted the job just days after September 11, accepted the job of secretary in January 2003 as 22 government agencies formed the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS was established to develop and coordinate a national strategy to protect against terrorist threats in the United States. Ridge also oversaw the creation of the color-coded threat-warning system.

"There will always be more to do, but today, America is significantly stronger and safer than ever before," Ridge said in his resignation letter.

Santini added, "It is the hope of our association’s government relations committee that Sect. Ridge’s successor will be receptive to the travel and tourism basic request for meaningful input and communication with the Department of Homeland Security."

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