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McDonnell will name health secretary today

Anita Kumar

Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell told us yesterday that he will name his final Cabinet pick this morning -- this one for secretary for health and human resources.

For weeks, all of Richmond has been fixated on the same half dozen names, but most speculation has been focused on Northern Virginia orthopedic surgeon Bill Hazel; Paul Conway, former deputy secretary of health and human resources under George Allen and chief of staff for the director of Office of Personnel and Managament in the Bush White House, and Jack Lanier, who taught epidemiology and community health at VCU and was chairman of the Virginia State Board of Health. But in recent days, sources have told us that Lanier no longer is a candidate because of concerns about his wife's lobbying on the health care industry.

McDonnell will be inaugurated Saturday. All but two Cabinet secretaries -- secretary of the commonwealth and assistant to the governor for commonwealth preparedness -- will be sworn in Sunday so he's definitely waiting until the last minute to announce his last Cabinet selection.

All appointments will be subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. But Senate Democratic leaders have indicated that they are not likely to challenge any of them, except Robert Sledd, McDonnell's pick for secretary of commerce and trade, who some of them believe have a conflict-of-interest problem because he serves on three corporate boards. Sledd is a respected businessman and McDonnell may ask him to resign from the boards before the hearings begin next week.

As always, we'll bring you more news as it becomes available.

By Anita Kumar  |  January 15, 2010; 8:25 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2010 , Robert F. McDonnell , State Senate  
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