Grijalva in Running for Interior
By Juliet Eilperin
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) has emerged as a leading contender for Interior Secretary in the next administration, according to sources familiar with the transition.
Grijalva's experience and background meshes nicely with some of the Obama team's top requirements. The son of a migrant worker who grew up in Tucson, Grijalva boasts a strong environmental record and chairs the House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.
Choosing the congressman, who was just re-elected to his fifth term, would please both Latino advocates and the environmental community. Grijalva boasts a 95 percent lifetime score with the League of Conservation Voters, and he oversaw a federal study that linked oil and gas development on public lands with the decline in Western hunting habitat. He has also questioned the cheap grazing permits the Interior Department has leased to ranchers in the West.
Traditionally, the Interior slot goes to a Westerner. While many political observers had initially thought New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson might nab the post if he did not get picked for Secretary of State, he might end up as Commerce Secretary instead.
Posted at 7:19 PM ET on Nov 21, 2008
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