Ridge expects to leave Texas medical center before Christmas

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A spokesman says former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge expects to leave a Texas medical facility in time to be home in Maryland for Christmas.

Ridge suffered a heart attack on Nov. 16 while attending a Republican Governors Association conference in Austin, Texas. He’s been recovering at a local rehabilitation center.

The 72-year-old Republican served two terms as Pennsylvania’s governor, from 1995 to 2001. He was the first homeland security secretary, serving under President George W. Bush until 2005.

Ridge’s spokesman, Steve Aaron, also said Sunday that Ridge’s hospitalization won’t affect his security firm’s contract with the Transport Workers Union of America to review airplane maintenance outsourcing to overseas companies.

Aaron says Ridge will be involved but that the work is being handled by a team at his firm.

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