WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman resigned her post at USDA, one of four senior officials to leave the Bush administration following the president’s re-election.
The decision caught some industry watchers off guard, but as Veneman herself said in a teleconference Nov. 9, “we in the cabinet serve at the pleasure of the president.”
Early reports indicated the president would name her successor immediately. The names most mentioned are former Congressman Charlie Stenholm, White House agriculture adviser Chuck Conner and U.S. special trade representative for agricultural affairs Allen Johnson.
In the Buckeye State, however, hopefuls added the name of state agriculture director Fred Dailey to the short list. Dailey advised the president on agricultural issues as part of a temporary transition team after the 2000 election.
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