Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, an early Barack Obama supporter from the southwestern part of the country, is a leading contender for the job of secretary of homeland security, Democratic officials said Thursday.
These officials caution that no final decision has been made on the position, which involves directing the massive department created by the Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.
By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer
In this Nov. 13, 2008 file photo, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Napolitano is President-elect Barack Obama’s primary choice to be secretary of the Homeland Security Department, several news organizations reported Thursday Nov. 20, 2008.(AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
The officials agreed to discuss the situation only on grounds of anonymity because of the private nature of the screening process for Obama’s Cabinet. Napolitano, who once was Arizona’s attorney general, was among the first of the Democratic governors to commit to him.
Several news organizations reported Thursday that Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker, who was Obama’s national campaign finance chairman, is his leading choice to become secretary of commerce.
Among the names being bandied about as the Obama transition team sets up the new government are several people with long careers as Washington insiders, notwithstanding Obama’s clarion call in his campaign for change in the nation’s capital.