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February 23, 2009 8:30 PM

AP Report: Obama to Name Davis Wright Partner as Commerce Secretary

Posted by Brian Baxter

GLocke

The Associated Press reports that President Obama will name former Washington Gov. Gary Locke, currently an energy and government relations partner with Davis Wright Tremaine in Seattle, as his nominee for Commerce secretary.

Locke was the country's first Chinese American governor, serving two terms as Washington's top elected official from 1997 to 2005. Prior to his political career, Locke was a deputy criminal prosecutor for King County in the late seventies.

After leaving the governor's office in January 2005--he chose not to run for reelection--Locke joined Davis Wright a month later when he took a leading role in the firm's China and government relations practice groups.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Locke was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton, serving as Washington State cochair of Clinton's bid for the Democratic nomination.

The 59-year-old Locke is President Obama's third nominee for the top job at the Department of Commerce.

The first nominee, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, withdrew in January after it was revealed that a federal grand jury was investigating the awards of certain state contracts.

Republican New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg then withdrew his nomination a month later, citing "irresolvable conflicts" with the economic policies of the Obama administration.

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