Keep Richardson Cabinet Spot Hispanic, Leaders Urge

Latino activists disappointed NM governor won't head Commerce, push new list
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Jan 5, 2009 10:50 AM CST
Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez smiles as his campaign workers at his campaign headquarters in a 2005 file photo. Chavez has been suggested as a Richardson replacement.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Bill Richardson’s Cabinet nomination was big for the Hispanic community, and with the New Mexico governor backing out, Politico reports, Latino leaders are pushing Barack Obama to choose another of their own for the Commerce slot. Says the head of one group, “We hope we can keep that intact.”

The list of contenders includes Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, and a number of business leaders. And though Obama has nominated more Latinos than Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, “it’s kind of back to the drawing board in terms of political appointments,” says the head of one political group.