- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke faces a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday for his nomination as commerce secretary.

The former two-term Democratic governor must be approved by the full Senate before joining President Barack Obama’s Cabinet. Locke is Obama’s third nominee for the Commerce post.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew amid questions about the awarding of state contracts. And Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire changed his mind about working for a Democratic president.

If confirmed by the Senate, Locke would assume control of an agency with a broad portfolio that includes overseeing many aspects of international trade, oceans policy and the 2010 census.

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