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Obama's New Commerce Pick Has Clean Reputation

President Barack Obama on Tuesday named former Washington Gov. Gary Locke as his Commerce secretary.

In Washington State, Gary Locke has a reputation as a policy wonk and a strong manager. Denny Heck, a longtime friend of Locke's from the state legislature, says Locke also brings a squeaky-clean reputation.

Democrats in Congress expect a smooth confirmation, but Republicans will probably ask the former governor about sloppy handling of cash donations to his 1996 campaign.

When Locke retired as governor in 2005, he joined the Seattle office of an international law firm, where he advised corporate clients on trade and export issues.

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Tom Banse covers business, environment, public policy, human interest and national news across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be heard during "Morning Edition," "Weekday," and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.