AP source: Richardson serious Commerce contender

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A senior Democratic official says New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has emerged as a serious contender for Commerce Secretary in President-elect Barack Obama's Cabinet.

Richardson had been in the running for secretary of state, but is under consideration for Commerce now that Obama plans to nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state after Thanksgiving.

The official with knowledge of the private Cabinet discussions spoke on background because the deliberations are not final.

Richardson is a prominent Hispanic leader who endorsed Obama after dropping his own presidential bid this year.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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