Obama to name former Washington governor as commerce secretary

February 24th, 2009 - 6:30 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Feb 24 (Xinhua) US President Barack Obama is likely to name a former Washington state governor to be the commerce secretary, a media report said.
Citing senior administration officials, the CNN said Monday Gary Locke, the country’s first Chinese-American governor who has served two terms in Washington State from 1997 to 2005, to be designated to the key cabinet post.

Obama’s first pick for commerce secretary, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, withdrew his nomination due to his involvement in a corruption case under investigation.

The second nominee, Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, also backed out, claiming he had “irresolvable conflicts” with the president in some key policies.

Born in 1950 in Seattle, Locke was a third-generation American whose family came from Taishan in China’s Guangdong Province. He graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and attained a law degree from the Boston University.

Locke, a Democrat, started his political career in 1982 when he was elected to the Washington House of Representatives. In 1996, he won the elections for governor and became the first Chinese-American state governor in America.

Although he was seen as a rising star by the Democratic Party, Locke announced in 2003 not to seek a third term as governor, saying he wanted to devote more time to his family.

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