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Obama Names Richardson as Commerce Secretary Pick

President-elect Barack Obama named New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as his choice for Commerce Secretary Wednesday.

Democratic presidential hopefuls gather on the stage prior to the first Democratic presidential primary debate of the 2008 election hosted by the South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC., Thursday, April 26, 2007. From left: Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson., and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite
Democratic presidential hopefuls gather on the stage prior to the first Democratic presidential primary debate of the 2008 election hosted by the South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC., Thursday, April 26, 2007. From left: Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson., and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

"Governor Richardson is uniquely suited for this role as a leading economic diplomat for America," Obama said.

Richardson was Energy secretary and United Nations ambassador in the administration of President Bill Clinton. He sought the Democratic presidential nomination this year, but eventually dropped out and endorsed Obama.

He is one of the nation's most prominent Hispanic politicians, and was in the U.S. House before joining Clinton's Cabinet.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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