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Ridge is expected to leave the Texas medical center for the Christmas

AUSTIN, Texas – A spokesman says former US Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge expected 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 is recovering at a local rehabilitation center.

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

Ridge’s spokesman, Steve Aaron, said Sunday that Ridge the hospitalization is not of influence on his security company’s contract with the Transport Workers Union of America to review the airplane maintenance outsourcing to foreign companies.

Aaron says Ridge will be involved, but that the work is provided by a team of his company.

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