Ken Salazar to Resign as Secretary of Interior
Washington, DC [CapitalWirePR] January 16, 2013– Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar is expected to submit his resignation to President Obama today. He is reported to leave the post in March. Secretary Salazar’s plans after he leaves office are not clear although he has indicated to media that he will return to Colorado and spend more time with his family.
At a campaign event in Pueblo, Colorado during the fall campaign, President Obama lauded Ken Salazar as “one of the finest senators that the state of Colorado ever had, who is now doing a great job looking after the natural resources of this beautiful country of ours.”
Among those mentioned to replace Salazar are David Hayes, currently Deputy Interior Secretary; former Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota; former Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire. Governor Gregoire would add another woman to Obama’s cabinet. Gregoire is also mentioned as at EPA or the Energy Department if Secretary Chu leaves the post. Congressman Raul Grijalva [D-AZ], a senior member of the House Natural Resources Committee, has also been mentioned as a possibility.
Should he consider returning to public elected office, Salazar finds Colorado’s top offices occupied by fellow Democrats at this time. Governor John Hickenlooper has not announced his intentions to stand for re-election to a second term in 2014. Senator Mark Udall has already announced his 2014 re-election campaign and Senator Michael Bennet’s term will not expire until 2016.
With the departures of Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Ken Salazar, President Obama will lose all current Hispanic representation in his Cabinet.
In addition to Grijalva, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is rumored as a possible new Cabinet face to replace Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, should he step down.