See how the 2008 election will affect the Obama Administration’s Cabinet positions, as well as the balance of power in the House and Senate.
Former USDA Secretary Mike Johanns, who resigned from his position in September 2007 to seek a seat in the U.S. Senate, was elected to that position. He succeeds Sen. Chuck Hagel, whose name has been mentioned as a possible defense secretary or secretary of state appointee in the Obama administration.
Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell’s name has also appeared on a short list released by the Associated Press for possible energy secretary or transportation secretary. Former secretary of the Keystone State’s Department of Environmental Protection, Kathleen McGinty, is on that list for U.S. EPA administrator.
According to the AP list, possible agriculture secretaries include Tom Buis, president of the National Farmers Union; former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack; or Rep. Collin Peterson, chair of the House agriculture committee.
During a conference call last week with NFU’s Tom Buis, the leader mentioned that the House agriculture committee lost a handful of members who did not win re-election in their respective states. Lost were Rep. Nancy Boyda, Kansas; Rep. Nicholas Lampson, Texas; Rep. Robin Hayes, North Carolina; Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, Colorado; Rep. Randy Kuhl, New York; and Rep. Tim Walberg, Michigan. There has been early speculation as to who may be named to sit on that committee now, according to Buis.
The election results ensured the 111th Congress will be one controlled by the Democratic party. Dems picked up six seats in the Senate for a total of 57 seats; three races are still uncalled. In the House, Dems picked up 19 seats for a total of 254, with five races still undecided. Two of the uncalled Senate races involve Ranking Ag Committee member Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, who will face his opponent in a run-off; and Sen. Norm Coleman, whose votes will be recounted due to a close margin with his opponent.
West Virginia State Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass was elected last week to his 11th term in that position. Douglass is 81 and has said this will likely be his last term.
See what directions commodity groups are pointing the new Obama-Biden Administration: